General Debate on the Economy – Poverty

In the debate on the economy last week, I intervened to highlight the growing use of foodbanks, an increase in child poverty and homelessness, and that the life expectancy for some women has gone down for the first time since the 1920’s.

These facts show that this is a Government which does not care about the many.

Education Committee – School Funding Crisis

In the Education Committee session with the Secretary of State Damian Hinds MP, I raised the concerns of head teachers in our local area about budget pressures.

A report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies revealed that by 2019 education funding will have fallen by 4.6%.

I pushed the Secretary of State to make a commitment to fight for more money for education in the next spnding review, and to close the funding gap in our schools.

Point of Order – IRP Report

Following on from my question to the Health Secretary about the IRP report, I raised a point of order with the Deputy Speaker on Wednesday to try to and gauge exactly what was meant by “in due course”, the term which the Minister keeps repeating, when I ask for the exact date that the report will be released.

Westminster Hall Debate – Local Government Funding

On Tuesday in a Westminster Hall Debate, I raised the fact that funding from central government for children’s services has been cut by 10.9% according to the latest report by the NAO into Sustainable Funding of Local Government. The Chancellor failed to address this in his Budget or in the recent Spring Statement. By 2022 there will be a £2.2bn short-fall nationwide for children’s services.

This Government should be doing more to protect vulnerable children across the country.

Education Committee – Independent Reviewing Officers

Following the recommendation to remove Independent Reviewing Officers (IROs) in the ‘Foster Care in England’ report, I asked the Minister for Children and Families why anyone would want to remove people who act to protect children’s interests in the care process.

This is especially worrying as several organisations such as the Fostering Network, Action for Children, and even the National Children’s Commissioner have criticised the report’s recommendation.

Education Committee – Financial Pressures on Head Teachers

In the Education Committee’s session with Minister for Children and Families Nadhim Zahawi on Wednesday, I raised my concerns about the immense pressure that head teachers are under to manage their school’s finances.

This pressure is so intense that in some instances pupil premium funds, which are intended to support disadvantaged children, are being moved away to patch-up budget deficits, according to research from the Sutton Trust.