Wakefield Academy money siphoning

This week in the Education Select Committee meeting with the Schools Commissioners, I raised the shocking reports that some schools within the Wakefield City Academy Trust had money purposefully siphoned off.

This included one school, which reportedly had £200,000, which had been raised by volunteers, stripped away by the Trust before its collapse.

It is important to ensure that those involved in Multi-Academy Trusts are subject to meaningful oversight and accountability to make sure that schools and children do not have to suffer.

Resignation of the Social Mobility Commission board

In the Urgent Question today on the resignation of the Social Mobility Commission board members, I asked the Minister of State for Children and Families whether he agreed with me that the Government’s ambitions on social mobility have failed.

This is also in light of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s UK Poverty 2017 report, which stated that in recent years there has been an increase in the rate of poverty for children, lone parent families, and pensioners.

You can read the read the full report here: https://www.jrf.org.uk/report/uk-poverty-2017

Hands Around HRI

Today I attended the Hands Around HRI protest, which brought so many people together as one community in support of our hospital. I was delighted to read a message from Shadow Secretary of State for Health Jonathan Ashworth MP. As I said in my speech, I strongly believe that we have a right to quality healthcare.

These proposals are not acceptable.

This demonstration today will send a message to Jeremy Hunt, that we are united in opposition to these plans.

It is not a done deal. This is our hospital, and our NHS.

Sanctuary Kirklees and DASH

It was great to meet with Jean from Sanctuary Kirklees and Mike from DASH (Destitute Asylum Seekers Huddersfield) at the City of Sanctuary event in Parliament on Tuesday.

The day’s events were centred around the #DignityNotDestitution campaign, which aims to end poverty and homelessness in the asylum system.

I have seen first-hand the devastating effects of families being torn apart due to conflict in their country, who are then waiting for leave to remain. I fully support the #DignityNotDestitution campaign and the hard work that so many groups are doing across the country, and our constituency, to support those in such vulnerable situations.

Thelma’s alternative budget

Last night in the House I delivered my ‘Alternative Budget’, which tackles the issues the Chancellor ignored, but that people living in the Colne Valley constituency want to see.

We need to fund social care, build affordable housing, and make good the promise of railway electrification.

Watch the video above and let me know what you think.

#No2H8

I am proud to support the #No2H8 campaign in Parliament today, with Faith Matters and Tell Mama UK. The #No2H8 campaign is seeking to raise awareness of the increasing prevalence of hate crime in the UK. Hate crime in the UK manifests itself in many forms and the #No2H8 campaign is aiming to act as a catalyst to eradicate Islamaphobic, Anti-Semitic, Misogynistic, Homophobic and any other form of abuse in society.

80,393 hate crimes were reported by the police in the year 2016/17, which is a 29% increase from the previous year.

Faith Matters is an organisation enabling different communities to reduce conflict through integration and cohesion, as well as reducing hate crime and extremism.

TellMAMA is an independent organisation which works with police forces across the UK to support victims of anti-Muslim hate crime, and monitor and map anti-Muslim incidents.

To find out more about what can be done to end this, you can go to the Faith Matters or TellMAMA websites.

Labour’s national campaign day

Labour’s campaign day in full-swing around our constituency on Saturday. I visited the teams in Lindley, Marsden, and Holmfirth.

Speaking to local folk who are increasingly vocal about their opposition to this crumbling Tory government.

Under the Tories, living standards are falling. Households in Britain will be better off with a Labour government.

Education Select Committee – Closure of Sure Start centres

Sure Start centres were set up to give more deprived children a better chance in life, and I have seen first-hand how effective they are while working as a headteacher.

Tory cuts have led to over 1000 centres closing, with nothing to replace the services they provided. I spoke about the impact this had had on our ability to provide early intervention, at this week’s Education Select Committee.

Holme J&I School visit

After a busy 4 days in Westminster, on Fridays I find it invaluable to meet with people around our constituency and listen to their needs and experiences.

This morning I visited the lovely Holme J&I School in Holmfirth, spoke to the teachers about issues they’re currently facing, and enjoyed a Q&A session with the children. A unique school with only 35 pupils and the most amazing views!