MP for Hornsey and Wood Green
Ten schools will be opening their doors this summer to help some of the most disadvantaged pupils in Haringey with the big step up from primary to secondary school.
The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg launched the government’s £50million summer school programme yesterday targeted at helping local children who are in care or receive free school meals
Local Liberal Democrats welcomed the scheme saying that this is exactly what is needed to ensure that children who are vulnerable to falling behind are not disadvantaged when moving to secondary education.
Cllr Katherine Reece, Liberal Democrat Children Spokesperson, comments:
“We welcome this government initiative to help some of Haringey’s most disadvantaged children. Summer Schools can be the key to a child’s success in later life. The step from primary to secondary school can be a really daunting one for many children. If your confidence is knocked back at this stage, it is difficult to recover as a child progresses through the school.
“Funding from the coalition government has been rightly targeted to help prevent Haringey’s young people from falling behind rather than trying to help pupils catch-up after the damage has been done.”
Commenting, Lynne Featherstone MP said:
“It’s great to see so many local schools throughout the borough opening their doors for two weeks in the summer holidays. This will let local pupils catch up on learning and get to grips with life in secondary school – in short, get in the starting blocks ready for the off in September.
“Those who struggle to make the transition are often among the poorest in society, but two weeks of activities can really help to bridge the gap.
“It’s good news for mums and dads too – no parent wants their child to be left out and fall behind.
“Summer schools will ensure pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds can start secondary school on an equal footing with their peers, setting them up to succeed.“
The year 5 pupil snapped up first place with her drawing of the three wise men visiting Mount Olympus, and will now go on an Olympic tour with the Hornsey and Wood Green MP. Phoebe was closely followed by runners up Nagarey Samey (Nightingale Primary), Kacper Nikiel (Campsbourne Primary) and Molly Flora Drew (Rhodes Avenue) who have all received certificates and Olympics themed prizes.
Lynne Featherstone MP comment:
“Choosing a Christmas card winner is one of the highlights of my winter diary, and this year it was really tough with lots of strong contenders from schools across the constituency.
“Phoebe’s piece was something very special, it was very Christmassy, with a strong Olympics theme, and it was really beautifully created. But the runners up Nagarey, Kacper and Molly were all close contenders for first prize.
“Congratulations to Phoebe and the runners-up, and a huge thank you to all pupils and schools who joined in this year. Now I look forward to joining Phoebe for an Olympic Tour.”
London Liberal Democrats led by Brian Paddick on Friday gave their firm backing to Lynne Featherstone MP’s long-running campaign for fair funding for the Borough’s schools.
The mayoral candidate joined the fight for better school funding as the second leg in a consultation to simplify the school funding system came to a close on 11th October. This round of consultation has seen an even stronger backing by residents, with close to 130 local people, teachers and schools making personal submissions to the consultation.
Mayoral candidate Brian Paddick, GLA Liberal Democrat member Caroline Pidgeon and GLA candidate Dawn Barnes on Friday jointly backed the campaign during a visit to Haringey.
In addition to fighting for local schools to get fairer funding in a new funding formula, Liberal Democrats are already delivering more funding for local schools, through the pupil premium. It was last week announced that this year, schools will get close to £500 per deprived pupil, an increase on the £430 promised earlier in the year, adding up to an extra £2.2 million for schools in Hornsey and Wood Green. For the Borough, that adds up to a boost of £5.3 million this school year alone.
Lynne Featherstone MP comments:
“I’m delighted to have such a strong backing in the battle for fair funding, both from Brian and his team and from local residents who really have come out in force to respond to the consultation. Thank you all.
“I am sure that this strong support will make a world of difference and hopefully tip the balance in favour of our children.
“But local schools are already reaping the benefits of Liberal Democrats in government, by getting an extra £5.3 million to support deprived pupils this year alone. I’m proud to see us delivering for local schools already and I look forward to hearing the outcome of this consultation in the next few months.”
Liberal Democrat London Mayoral candidate, Brian Paddick, adds:
“I was appalled to hear of the long-standing unfairness in the way Haringey schools have been funded over the years.
“But it’s great to see the new government taking strong action to simplify the school funding system and looking specifically at the case of Haringey. I am 100 per cent behind Lynne in her long-running battle for this injustice to end. Give Haringey’s children fair funding now!”
The coalition government has announced it will be reviewing Haringey’s unfair school funding in the spring, after years of campaigning by local Liberal Democrats. Lynne Featherstone MP received the encouraging news in a recent response from the education minister Michael Gove, after writing to him about Haringey’s unfair funding.
In the letter, the Minister recognises Haringey’s special school funding case, where local pupils get up to £1,300 less than students in neighbouring boroughs, like Hackney and Camden. He has also confirmed that Haringey’s unique circumstances will be considered as part of a review to make the national school funding formula fairer and more transparent, due to be launched in the spring.
Since 2006, Lynne Featherstone MP has spearheaded the campaign to address the funding shortfall resulting from local teachers getting ‘inner London’ wages, but schools getting ‘outer London’ funding.
Lynne Featherstone MP comments:
“This is a real step forward for Haringey’s children, and for fair funding for our schools. I’ll be campaigning all out to make sure local people respond to the consultation later on in the spring.
“Labour kept depriving our children of fair school funding. But thanks to the Liberal Democrats in Government, Haringey’s special case has at last been recognised.”
Local Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson Councillor Rachel Allison adds:
“The coalition understands the importance of extra funding for the poorest children, with local schools getting an extra £4.5 million in pupil premium.
“Changing Labour’s unfair funding formula is the next step in getting fair education for Haringey’s children.”
Haringey’s schools are set to receive an extra £4.5million after the Liberal Democrats announced major investment for schools in Haringey through the Pupil Premium this week.
In its first year, the programme will target £625m extra funding to the poorest children in school, with this figure rising to £2.5bn each year, by the end of this Parliament.
In year one, every school is guaranteed an extra £430 from the Government for every child on free school meals and every looked-after child.
Commenting, Lynne Featherstone MP for Hornsey and Wood Green said:
“The pupil premium provides more money for disadvantaged children and means a better deal for Haringey schools.”
“By helping some of the most disadvantaged children, we can help whole school classes work together better and move forward faster. This is great news for children, parents and teachers alike.”
Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Cllr Rachel Allison adds:
“The premium gives Headteachers in Haringey the freedom to use the money how they want, in the ways they know work – not how politicians in Whitehall tell them to.”
“Enabling children from disadvantaged backgrounds to have the best possible start in life was a key pledge of the Liberal Democrats going into the last general election. The pupil premium delivers on this pledge – by providing schools with £430 for every disadvantaged child on top of existing pupil funding.”
To celebrate the summer and a day full of fun for the students at Woodside High, Haringey’s special sustainability school, Lynne Featherstone MP on Friday opened their summer fete.
The Liberal Democrat MP also got to do a special stint on the school’s very own TV channel, Woodside TV. The Hornsey and Wood Green MP got quizzed on issues around sustainability, business and enterprise by some of the school’s very own sustainability and business experts.
Lynne Featherstone MP comments:
“What a fete! This is surely the way to celebrate summer and a year’s hard work, by strolling around the stalls, getting a head massage, learning some new dance moves or enjoying some tasty food.
“And judging from the gruelling questions for my interview on Woodside TV – the students have been working really hard this year, winning dragons den competitions, aiming to become an eco school, and learning a lot about sustainability and enterprise in the process. So a great celebration is certainly in order!”
On her first local visit after being re-elected MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, Lynne Featherstone on Friday went to visit her old school, Highgate Primary, to help the children write a special school magazine with stories from old and new students.
The year six students from the North Hill school asked the Liberal Democrat MP about what was different when she was a student there. They also go the chance to ask the new Home Office Minister what it was like to be in Government, and what made her become an MP in the first place.
Lynne Featherstone ended the visit by attending a special assembly, where some of the younger students did their own take on the book ‘Where the Wild Things Are’.
Lynne Featherstone MP comments:
“What a wonderful way to kick-start a new term in office, by coming back to my old school, chatting with such incredibly bright and interested students, and reliving old memories.
“And topping off the visit by seeing the children do their own version of ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ was just fantastic. Especially when I got to join in the ‘monsters munch’ dance! Such fun!”
In their ongoing fight for fair funding for Haringey’s schoolchildren, Lynne Featherstone and a team of local Liberal Democrats have launched an awareness campaign outside local schools to let local parents know what they can do to support the campaign.
The Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate was joined by Councillor Gail Engert and campaigner Jenny Bouchami outside St Mary’s school in Hornsey as they chatted with parents about how they can respond to a government consultation to help highlight the current funding situation that sees Haringey’s schools getting £1,318 less per pupils than children in Hackney.
The consultation, which is running until the 7th June 2010, looks at two funding options, one which could give Haringey’s schools an additional £10 million per year.
The Liberal Democrat team will in the next few weeks speak with parents at schools around the area to encourage as many local residents as possible to respond to the consultation.
To make the case for fairer school funding, residents need to go to http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/consultations/
The Liberal Democrats have also pledged to put in an extra £15 million into Haringey’s schools, through their so-called pupil premium to ensure smaller class sizes. The additional funds could give Haringey’s schools an extra 490 teachers.
Lynne Featherstone comments:
“This is our big chance to make the case for why our kids need and deserve more money for their schooling. This is an opportunity to give them a better education for the best possible start in life.
“Regardless of the outcome of the election – it is vital that people respond to this consultation. Of course – if the Liberal Democrats won – that would solve our ‘fair funding’ at a stroke – with their pledge of £2.5billion per year to our schools.”
Cllr Gail Engert, Liberal Democrat Schools spokesperson adds:
“It’s been great to get such a positive response when speaking to Hornsey parents here today.
“Bit by bit we are getting residents to see that they can help make a real difference. So for all you residents out there who want to do something about this injustice, grab this chance to respond and help make a fairer future for Haringey’s children.”
Liberal Democrats have demanded clear promises from the Labour Council that Heartlands High School will be open in September after it emerged that builders have requested to move to work 24-hours a day.
Liberal Democrats are concerned that, with five months to go before the school is due to open, a move by contractors to working all night means that the project may be severely behind schedule – putting the school places of 162 children in jeopardy.
Furthermore, residents living close to the site are likely to be concerned that they will have to put up with noise throughout the night.
Cllr Gail Engert, Liberal Democrat Children and Young People spokesperson, comments:
“With five months until the school is due to open this is clearly not a last minute push to get final fittings finished. Working all day and night seems to show that this project is under severe pressure. We need clear assurances from Haringey Council now whether it will be on time, why we need 24-hour building work and to reassure parents and children starting at the school in September that it will indeed be ready and safe.
“We also need to be sure that local people will not be disturbed by the 24-hour work.”
Lynne Featherstone adds:
“It is vital for local families for this new school to be open. Labour need to come clean why 24-hour working is needed when they have been so sure it will be open in September.”
To encourage residents to respond to a new consultation on school funding that could help address the existing unfairness that sees Haringey’s children getting £1,318 less per pupil than in neighbouring inner London boroughs, Lynne Featherstone MP has written to thousands of local residents with information on how they can help.
The Hornsey and Wood Green MP, who has long campaigned for fair funding for Haringey’s children since discovering the shortfall in funding a few years back, has now contacted residents to let them know about the consultation that is running until the 7th June.
The Government is consulting on a change in the funding formula, where one option would give Haringey’s children 6.6% more funding (around £10.8 million), and one option would keep the current funding arrangements that mean Haringey schools pay ‘inner-London’ wages but get ‘outer-London’ money.
To respond to the consultation, please go to http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/consultations/. (The consultation section that specifically relates to Haringey’s unfair funding settlement, can be found under the section titled Area Cost Adjustment, question 14 in the consultation documents. Residents can choose to respond only to the ACA section if they want to. The Hybrid option would give our schools around £400 more per pupil, compared to today’s funding arrangements, whereas the General Labour Market Approach would mean similar funding levels to today.)
Lynne Featherstone MP comments:
“This is our opportunity to do something about the Government’s unfair funding of Haringey schools – and if we want to see more money for our children, now is the time to act.
“The funding options put forward by the Government are far from perfect – and don’t fully correct the current unfairness.
“But the ‘hybrid’ option would at least increase our funding by £10.8 million– and that’s better than no increase! So please take a minute to respond – this is our chance to make a difference for our kids’ futures.”