Ten summer schools open in Haringey

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.“

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.”

Haringey children can benefit as £50 million summer schools fund opens

More than ten thousand Haringey school children could be helped to attend summer schools under a new government scheme.

A £50 million Summer Schools Fund was announced by Deputy Prime Minister and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg last autumn. The scheme is now open for applications from local schools.

Head teachers will be able to design and run summer schools, targeting pupils who will benefit the most. The funding could be used for activities such as:

·         Transitional activities to help familiarise pupils with their new environment. Activities could include meeting teachers, having a tour of the school or learning more about their new curriculum.

·         Additional intensive support in English and mathematics to enable pupils who need it to make progress in these key areas before they start the secondary curriculum, both as catch up and preparation for the new term.

·         Wider enrichment activities such as arts, music and sports activities, trips to theatres and museums, visits to local higher education institutions and employers etc.

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

“I have written to schools in my constituency urging them to apply for funding through the scheme.

“The Coalition Government is doing the right thing by helping heads and governors to build on their own plans and give children an extra hand.

“The Liberal Democrats’ commitment to the most disadvantaged children doesn’t stop there. As well as this £50m fund, we are making significant extra funding available through the Pupil Premium.

“This will help schools tackle the inequalities that have been a part of our schools system for far too long.”

Liberal Democrats in Government getting young people earning or learning

Liberal Democrats in Government has recently announced that young people in Haringey who are not in employment, education or training (NEET), will see an investment of over £430,000 to get them earning or learning again.

As part of Nick Clegg’s Youth Contract, the Coalition Government will, for the first time, target funding through tailored support on a payment-by-results system to 16 and 17-year-olds with no GCSEs at A* – C who are at the highest risk of long-term disengagement.

Commenting, Lynne Featherstone MP said:

“We’re doing the right thing in government and supporting young people in Haringey who have had difficulty finding a job or training when they’ve left school.

“This funding will ensure they receive personal, targeted support from experts to help them develop the confidence and skills that they need to stay in education or find a job.

“Youth unemployment here in Haringey is very high, and it’s absolutely right that although money is tight, we’re prioritising investment in the Youth Contract to get young people earning or learning.”

Commenting further, Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg said:

“Sitting at home with nothing to do when you’re so young can knock the stuffing out of you for years. It is a tragedy for the young people involved and a ticking time bomb for the economy and our society as a whole. This problem isn’t new, but in the current economic climate we urgently need to step up efforts to ensure some of our most troubled teenagers have the skills, confidence and opportunities to succeed.

“Many of them will have complex problems: truancy, teenage pregnancy, a lack of GCSEs and health problems. So helping them onto their feet will not be without challenges and Government cannot do this alone. But we all have a duty to reach out to the young people who can be hardest to reach.”

MP Lynne joins Deputy Prime Minister as he signs ‘Real Man’ pledge

Local MP Lynne Featherstone last week joined Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg as he signed Women’s Aid ‘Real Man’ pledge, backing a campaign fighting violence against women.

The Hornsey and Wood Green MP joined the Liberal Democrat leader in her role as International Champion on Violence against Women, to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence  against Women.

Women’s Aid is running a national campaign asking both men and women to help send out the message that ‘Real Men’ do not abuse and control women – physically, emotionally, sexually or financially. The campaign asks supporters to sign the ‘Real Man’ pledge, which is:

• A ‘Real Man’ doesn’t hit, abuse or control
• A ‘Real Man’ doesn’t hurt the ones he loves
• A ‘Real Man’ makes a difference
• I’m supporting the ‘Real Man’ Campaign for Women’s Aid, standing up to end violence against women and children.

Hornsey and Wood Green MP and Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone said:

“I am happy to support the Woman’s Aid Real Man Campaign because tackling violence against women and girls is not a task for central Government alone. Men and women across society should feel able to speak out and challenge violent behaviour.

“But the Government also has a job to do, and by developing an ‘action plan’ to deliver practical steps we have helped reduce the risk to women and girls of being victims of these horrendous crimes. This has included the introduction of Domestic Violence Protection Orders to help keep abusive partners from being able to contact their victims.”

Lib Dems have worked hard to make changes to NHS Bill – Lynne Featherstone MP

The Government has announced changes to its Health Bill to address concerns raised by the public, medical professionals and the Liberal Democrats.

Liberal Democrats led the calls for changes after raising serious concerns at the party’s Spring Conference in March. Nick Clegg and others have worked hard in Government to make sure the concerns have been addressed.

In particular, Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats have ensured:

  • There will be no special favours for the private sector. There will be a level playing field, not a race to the bottom
  • The pace of change is slowed down to ensure changes are not rushed into and those taking on new responsibilities do so when they are ready.
  • The changes will be evolution, not revolution
  • The NHS is properly accountable, both nationally and locally

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

“I am proud of the way Liberal Democrats have listened and acted to address concerns about changes to the NHS.

“The Bill is now a whole lot better and will make sure decisions are taken in the best interests of patients.

“Liberal Democrats believe the NHS must always be universal, based on need and free at the point of use.

“We have ensured there will be no special favours for the private sector, proper accountability and that the changes are not rushed into before people are ready to take on new responsibilities.

“But this is no time for resting on our laurels. The NHS still faces huge challenges, with an ageing population and the rising costs of new drugs and technologies. I am confident the NHS is now in better shape to meet those challenges.”

The momentum is still with Nick Clegg

Despite the best efforts of the right wing press, the fury of the Tories and the pressure that the outstanding performance of the first debate put on him – Nick still came out on top. General consensus shows Nick won the second Leaders’ debate as he tops three polls and comes second in two more.
After the first debate – you could feel the nation take a collective deep breath as a sense of freedom from the old political chains began to break through our rotten, unfair and corrupt political system.
Nick spoke directly to the people about the issues that really matter. And he drove home that critical message – reaching out to all from the TV screen into peoples’ homes to say ‘People are beginning to hope we can do something different this time. Don’t let anyone tell you this time it can’t be different: it can’.

It really can. And this time the nation knows it, feels it and wants it.

Guardian/ ICM: Nick Clegg: 33%, David Cameron: 29 %, Gordon Brown: 29%

Angus Reid: Nick Clegg 33%, David Cameron: 32%, Gordon Brown: 23%

ITV/ComRes: Nick Clegg 33%, David Cameron: 32%, Gordon Brown: 32%

Times/Populous: David Cameron: 37%, Nick Clegg: 36%, Gordon Brown: 27%

YouGov Instant reaction: David Cameron: 36%, Nick Clegg: 32%, Gordon Brown: 29%

Tory tantrums!

Well – the roar of rage by the Tory establishment was all over the right wing press this morning – and then some.

Clearly seeing their chance of gaining power slipping – they reckon their only hope is that old game of smear, smear and smear again.

Have they learned nothing from that first TV debate? 

When people saw the last debate they found Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats to be a refreshing and different alternative to the old abusive politics of yesterday.

And yet – the Tories seem to think that acting like children who have had a toy taken away by stamping their feet in a mammoth tantrum against the young upstart – will help them.  All they really do is demonstrate ever more clearly that they are yesterday’s political party and not fit to govern.

We need a really different sort of politics to change the atmosphere in this country to bring real change and real hope. That is what Nick Clegg embodied in the last debate – and what the nation responded to.

Tories don't know what to do about Nick Clegg! We do – we agree with Nick!

Yes – we have to keep our heads in the midst of all this heady stuff, remember one swallow doesn’t make you know what – and make sure we all carry on campaigning until we drop.

Meanwhile – Nick just has to carry on being himself and telling the people about our policies in the next Sky Leader Debate on Thursday. That’s all that really happened last Thursday – and when the nation finally got a fair look at Nick Clegg – they clearly liked what they saw and heard.

The Tories appear to have gone into a complete panic. ‘Knives are out for Clegg’ the headlines said. I see this morning that has transmuted into William Hague threatening a European superstate if the Liberal Democrats were to become the Government.

Well firstly this just smacks of sheer desperation and secondly it is not true – just sabre rattling.

But the real point is that the Tories still don’t get it. They are trotting out the old tired politics, the same old lines of attack, the yesterday approach to today’s problems.

If they looked squarely at what happened in the debate last week – then they have to know that returning to dog-whistle politics and banging the EU drum is not going to be the game-changer they need.

So the Conservatives clearly don’t agree with Nick.

Maybe that’s where they’re going wrong!

Young people at the Roundhouse give proportional representation the thumbs up!

The Roundhouse has a whole weekend of engaging young people in politics – from political debate, to graffiti walls and musical, theatrical and film entertainment. Do you feel counted?

On a fantastically sunny day – it was rewarding that so many young people had turned up for this hustings on political reform. I represented the LibDems, Meg Hillier (Labour), Antonia Cox(Tories). The Legal correspondent for the Guardian, Afua Hirsch and Fumi Abari, 16 year old member of the UK Youth Parliament added real interest and different viewpoints.

What was so fantastic – were the contributions from the floor. As Youth Spokesperson for the LibDems I am always banging on about the misrepresentation by the media of all young people as trainee criminals. My experience is always that they are positive, good and want to get on in life.

The hustings was chaired by Evan Davis (Dragon’s Den and the Today program – there’s a mixture). The first half of the hustings was about voting systems and the second half about who can vote.

We all gave our views on both of the subjects and in each case Evan Davis took a show of hands at the end of the discussion as to whose position the young audience agreed with.

On voting – proportional representation won hands down with about 80% of the vote.
On lowering the voting age to 16 – 90% were in favour.

Both Liberal Democrat propositions!

No wonder Nick Clegg today is reported in the press as going on the campaign trail to appeal to young people today!