Lib Dem efforts secure extra money for Haringey schools

Lynne Featherstone MP and the Haringey Lib Dems have welcomed a revised funding formula for local schools.

The Hornsey and Wood Green MP reacted angrily and demanded a rethink last year, when Labour-run Haringey Council produced a funding formula which left a number of schools with less money, despite the council receiving £millions more funding from Government.

The local MP publicly criticised the Labour administration and asked the Department for Education to intervene. Under the new formula, all schools in the borough will receive a rise in funding next year.

Haringey Borough received an extra £13million to give to schools this year, thanks to the Pupil Premium policy introduced by the Liberal Democrats in Government. An additional £7.3 million will also be received following the Liberal Democrat MP’s successful campaign for fairer education funding.

The new funding formula is due to be approved at the Haringey Council cabinet meeting next week.

Haringey Lib Dem spokesperson for children, Cllr Katherine Reece, said:

“I am pleased to see that Liberal Democrat campaigns are having a real effect on the ground, and that Haringey’s children are to benefit from the success of these campaigns.

“After so many years of losing out, Haringey schools are close to having truly fair funding.”

Lynne Featherstone MP commented:

“The Lib Dems, both locally and nationally, have worked hard to secure over £20 million in extra funding for our schools – so it is quite right for every school in the borough to get a boost.

“I was absolutely livid last year when Labour-run Haringey Council put together a botched formula which projected a loss of money for some local schools.

“Thankfully, the revised formula, which is more in line with national standards, has produced a much better result.”

Haringey schools receive £13m Pupil Premium boost

This academic year, schools in Haringey will benefit from an extra £13 million on top of their usual budgets, thanks to the Liberal Democrat Pupil Premium.

Liberal Democrat MP Lynne Featherstone has welcomed the boost – which will see some schools in her constituency of Hornsey and Wood Green receive over half a million pounds in extra funding.

The Pupil Premium targets extra money to schools depending on the number of children from disadvantaged backgrounds they have. Each primary or secondary school receives an extra £900 per pupil that has been registered for free school meals in the past six years.

This year, the Premium will be worth £1.65bn in total.

Schools can use this money to fund extra members of staff, after school clubs, and school trips, for instance.

Commenting, Lynne Featherstone MP said:

“Here in Haringey we have some truly fantastic schools, teachers and students. Recording breaking A-level and GCSE results this year proves it!

“This extra money is even more good news for local schools. My old primary school – Highgate Primary – will get an extra £99,900 this year! I can’t wait to see what they spend it on.

“The Liberal Democrats aim to build a fairer society where everyone can get on in life. That’s why targeted extra funding for schools is one of our key policies being implemented in Government.”

See how much your child’s school received here.

All local schools are listed in a table here.

Lynne Featherstone MP welcomes huge boost in funding for primary schools

Lynne Featherstone - Pupil PremiumThe Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, has announced the biggest ever rise in the Pupil Premium for primary schools to help ensure that more pupils are able to achieve higher standards.

The Pupil Premium provides schools with extra money to help children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

It will be increased to £1,300 per eligible primary school pupil in 2014/15, up from £900 per child this year. That’s likely to be an extra £3,640,000 for primary schools in Hornsey and Wood Green.

Schools will be able to spend this money in ways that they feel helps their pupils best. Evidence shows some schools use it to hire extra staff, reading and maths classes for children who need an extra hand or provide appropriate IT facilities.

Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg recently visited a school in Hornsey and Wood Green to discuss how the pupil premium is benefitting students.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat MP for Hornsey and Wood Green Lynne Featherstone said:

“All the evidence shows that if your child starts behind in secondary school, they stay behind. That is unacceptable.

“As part of the Liberal Democrats’ aim to build a fairer society, the Coalition Government is putting extra money into primary schools to help teachers support disadvantaged children.

“This boost in the Pupil Premium will help ensure we give those children a better start at secondary school, so they have a better start in life.”

Twelve hundred two-year olds to get free early years education in Haringey – Lynne Featherstone MP

Twelve hundred two-year-old Haringey children will receive free early years’ education from next year.

This is in addition to three and four-year-old children in Haringey who are already eligible to receive 15 hours of free early years’ education per week.

Phase one will take effect from September 2013 with the second phase starting in September 2014.

The new support for children from the least well off families comes as part of a shake-up of early years’ education announced by Liberal Democrat leader and Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg.

The changes will provide greater flexibility for parents – the hours in which parents can bring in their children for their free place will be extended by two hours. Currently, parents are restricted by having to drop their children off no earlier than 8am and picking them up no later than 6pm. This will be extended to 7am – 7pm.  It will also give parents the option to spread their free nursery place over two days rather than three, making the system work better for working parents.

Lynne Featherstone, Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for Hornsey and Wood Green, commented:

“This is great news for a large number of local families. Early years’ education gives a real boost to young children and really prepares them for school.

“Giving a fair chance to all children is a top priority for Liberal Democrats in the Coalition Government. Every child deserves an equal chance to fulfil their own potential.”

Special Educational Needs overhaul to help children in Haringey says Lynne Featherstone MP

Parents of children who need extra help to do well in school are to get a new legal right to buy-in specialist Special Educational Needs (SEN) and disabled care under coalition government proposals.

Parents will be given the power to control personal budgets for their children for the first time. This will allow them to make the decisions needed to get the expert support that is right for their child.

This is the biggest reform of SEN for 30 years and will force education, health and social care services to plan services together, making the system easier and less time-consuming for parents.

Lynne Featherstone, Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for Hornsey and Wood Green, commented:

“Liberal Democrats in the coalition government are doing the right thing to end the agonising battle many parents have had to fight to get the support for their children.

“Under the current system, a child’s welfare is often buried under the bureaucracy of getting the help needed as parents are passed from pillar to post between different authorities and agencies.

“These reforms will put parents in charge. They will provide better information for families, bring services together with families to provide a package of support that meets their needs, removing the cliff-edge at 16 and helping young people into work and living as independently as they can.”

MP Lynne talks to Greek school students in Wood Green

Lynne at the Greek schoolHornsey and Wood Green MP Lynne Featherstone visited a local Greek Secondary School in Wood Green on Friday, to talk to students about politics and life as a minister.

The Member of Parliament took questions from students between 12 and 18, and teachers.

She discussed important issues relevant to young people, including the body confidence campaign, staying safe online, and the Home Office campaign, “This is Abuse,” which aims to raise awareness of the dangers of abuse and rape amongst teenagers and young people.

Lynne Featherstone MP commented,

“I always enjoy visiting local schools, and I was delighted to visit such a unique school. The students recently went to visit Parliament, and it’s clear that many of them are really engaged with politics.”

Primary school places

Lynne was recently contacted by a number of local residents experiencing trouble with their child’s primary school place. A number of children seem to have been allocated no school place at all, which has understandably caused a great deal of worry for the parents concerned.

It’s crucially important that these problems are sorted out urgently. Lynne has written to the Chief Executive of Haringey Council expressing her concerns, and you can find a copy of the letter which Lynne has sent below. Lynne will be sure to keep residents updated on the situation.

Letter from Lynne to Haringey Council Chief Executive, Kevin Crompton:

Dear Kevin,

RE:  Primary School Places 2012

I am writing with regards to the recent allocation of primary school places to children who are due to begin their education in the 2012/13 academic year.

I have been contacted by a large number of parents, and have been informed that many children have been offered places which are simply not practical. Of greater concern are the number of children (particularly in the Muswell Hill area) who have not been offered any school place at all. Many of these parents live in very close proximity (in some cases, less than 0.1 miles) to a number of primary schools, such as Muswell Hill Primary, Tetherdown, Rhodes and Coldfall.

I will of course be making enquiries on behalf of individual children and parents through the members’ enquiry system. There are, however, more general concerns and queries which I would like to raise with you.

I am keen to know exactly how many children who applied for a primary school place for the 2012/13 academic year have not been offered a place. I would also like to know how many have been offered a place that wasn’t in their ‘top 6’ choices. On confirmation of these figures, I would be grateful if you could let me know what the Council will do to ensure that these children will be given a place by the time term starts.

I would also be grateful if you could outline the policy used this year when allocating school places. For instance, were the places determined by distance to the school, or other criteria?

I would be most grateful if you could address the specific points that have been raised. Thank you for your kind attention in this regard and I look forward to your response.

Kind regards,

Lynne