'Don't hold back!' Minister tells Channing School students

Emily Mills (right) and Naomi Lane (left) with Lynne Featherstone MP at Channing School. Emily and Naomi are both year 12 politics students.Hornsey and Wood Green MP Lynne Featherstone spoke to almost 100 students, aged 13 to 18, at the Channing School on Friday.

The girls’ school in Highgate has an active politics society and organisers Emily Mills and Naomi Lane invited their local MP to speak about life as a Member of Parliament and a minister in the coalition government.

Lynne Featherstone described how she ran her first campaign as a design student at Oxford Polytechnic and how she later rediscovered politics and decided that the way to bring about change was to run for office.

She told the students not to hold back from getting involved in politics.

“Often when I visit schools I ask the class who wants to be Prime Minister. Many of the boys will put their hands up but very few of the girls do – but that didn’t apply to the Channing School students. It was great to see so many of them there and so many keen to get involved. There are too few women active in politics and that is something that we have to change,” she said.

Free early years education for two-year olds in Haringey

Free early education will be extended to 140,000 disadvantaged two-year- olds, and parents will be able to access the free entitlement more flexibly, under plans published by the Government on Friday.

In Haringey around 1,000 two-year olds are expected to benefit from the proposals.

Liberal Democrat Children’s Minister, Sarah Teather, announced a consultation on Friday on how this commitment will be implemented. The plans include proposals to help parents and children alike by making the free entitlement of 15 hours per week of early education more flexible, so it can be taken between 7am and 7pm across two days instead of the current three days.

Commenting, Lynne Featherstone MP said:

“Helping 1,000 two-year-old children from the poorest backgrounds with early education in Haringey will benefit them for years to come.

“Improving social mobility is a Liberal Democrat priority in Government and early years education is crucial to achieve this.

“We want us to give every child the best possible start – so free education for toddlers from the most disadvantaged homes will now be a right and not a privilege.

“Crucially the extra care will be flexible and easy to access. Parents across the country are bending over backwards to balance work and home. The Coalition wants to help in whatever way we can.”

Children’s spokesperson Councillor Katherine Reece adds:

“High quality early education is key to making a difference early in a child’s life and to help make Britain a fairer and more equal society.

“Targetting early education at those who stand to benefit most is crucial in achieving this goal. Disadvantaged children’s healthy development will be greatly benefitted by this initiative. This should help them from falling behind before they have even started primary school.”

Mayoral Candidate and local residents back Lynne in battle for fair funding

London Lib dems demand Fair funding now!

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!”

Final battle commences as government proposes to end Haringey’s school funding woes

Lynne Featherstone MP is urging local residents to “seize the best opportunity for a decade” to change Haringey’s unfair school funding system after the government this week published plans to end the long-standing injustice caused by local schools getting outer London funding but paying inner London wages.

The announcement of the start of the second part of the much anticipated school funding consultation has been welcomed by Liberal Democrats as it proposes a fairer funding system for all schools and specifically mentions “6 London authorities who are required to pay inner London weighting to teachers, whilst receiving outer London funding,” which includes Haringey.

The current funding regime results in Haringey’s schools getting £1500 per pupil less than schools in neighbouring boroughs like Hackney. However if the new ‘combined approach’ is adopted as proposed in the consultation, the historic injustice of Haringey paying inner London wages but getting outer London funding will come to an end.

The Hornsey and Wood Green MP, who has been spearheading her ‘fair funding’ campaign since unearthing the anomaly in 2007, is now writing to thousands of residents, urging them to respond to the consultation, which is running until 11th October.

Lynne Featherstone MP comments:

“It’s been a long, hard campaign, and the wonderful residents of Hornsey and Wood Green have been tirelessly backing me by signing petitions and responding to consultations to try and end this injustice.

“Labour recognised the unfairness, but in 13 years in power refused to do anything about it, until three months before getting voted out of office. One of the first things Liberal Democrats in government have done has been to announce that unfair school funding could notcontinue, and that this anomaly would have to be addressed.

“So here we are, a year into government, with Lib Dems putting clear proposals on the table to end Haringey’s historic injustice.

“Now I need the people of Hornsey and Wood Green to back me one last time, and seize the best opportunity in a decade to help end this injustice once and for all.”

Councillor Katherine Reece, Liberal Democrat Children’s Spokesperson, adds:

“School funding is a complex issue, and this is a complicated consultation. But that doesn’t mean we should shy away from responding – all of us want this injustice to end.

“If you want to help us fight for our schools to finally get fair funding, please get in touch with Lynne’s office on 020 8340 5459 or on lynne@lynnefeatherstone.org to get straightforward guidance on how best to respond.

“And we have until the 11th October, so please help us spread the word, and help us finally get fair funding for our schools”

Local Liberal Democrats visit new school in heart of Wood Green

Lynne Featherstone, Katherine Reece, headteacher Simon Garrill and Heartlands studentsTo see how pupils and staff are settling into the new Heartlands school in Wood Green, Lynne Featherstone MP and Councillor Katherine Reece, on Friday, got a special guided tour by students.

The Hornsey and Wood Green MP and the Liberal Democrat Childrens’ Spokesperson explored the brand new Station Road school, together with students representing the different ‘houses’. The pupils guided the Liberal Democrats through the amazing top of the range facilities, including a drama hall, sports hall, numerous IT rooms, music rooms, arts hall and restaurant.

Heartlands, which opened its doors to students in September 2010, has so far taken on 160 students in Year 7. By the time the school is full, it will be teaching over a thousand 11-16 year olds from across the Wood Green area.

Lynne Featherstone MP comments:

“It’s been really inspirational to see such an amazing space. The school has absolutely top notch equipment, and all the rooms and different spaces young people could ask for. And it’s clearly an inspirational space for this group of pioneering students, who are the first caretakers of this fantastic school.

“I especially like the star-themed ‘houses’ that they have here at Heartlands. This sense of belonging to a group, feeling pride and working with the group’s best interest at heart, using the Hogwarts houses as inspiration, seems to really work.”

Cllr Katherine Reece, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Children and Young People, adds:

“The school clearly has excellent leadership in headteacher Simon Garrill, and kids who are keen to learn in this great environment.

“I wish them all the best for their continued journey in the next academic year, and look forward to seeing the school grow in years to come.”

MP supports local school in fight for education for all

Lynne with year 7 studentsOn Friday, Lynne Featherstone MP visited Alexandra Park School to support a Year 7 class in its campaign to get schooling for the 67 million children in the world currently out of education.

The Hornsey and Wood Green MP heard each student talk about what had inspired them to back the ‘Send My Sister to School’ campaign, and in turn promised to write to the Prime Minister with their stories. The campaign aims to get school children across the world to call upon their governments to deliverer on a promise that the world’s countries made in 1999, to give all children access to primary education by 2015.

The coalition government is already taking steps to reach the goal. Through the aid budget, it has already secured schooling for 11 million children by 2015.

Lynne Featherstone MP comments:

“It’s very heartwarming to see the students getting involved in such an important campaign. It is utterly wrong that so many children across the world don’t have access to education, but I think this campaign has the potential to really make a difference, with over 4000 schools following Alexandra Park’s lead.

“The government is committed to delivering more education to children across the world; within the current aid budget, there is scope to deliver education for 11 million children. To add some extra pressure, I will certainly be passing on the Alexandra Park students’ concerns to the Prime Minister as well.”