Lynne Featherstone MP welcomes £317,486 boost for children in Haringey

Nurseries, childminders and other early year’s providers in Haringey are set for a £317,486 cash injection to help three and four-year-olds from disadvantaged families.

Children from low income families have often fallen behind more well off classmates before they even start school.?

But from April 2015, the Early Years Pupil Premium – which has been backed by groups like Barnados, 4Children and the Child Poverty Action Group – will mean extra money to make sure every child gets a fair start.

Nurseries and schools will be free to choose how to spend the money, which is part of a £50m Government pot.

It comes on top of Lib Dem-led changes in Government to help families, which include shared parental leave, tax free childcare, Free School Meals, and a pupil premium for school age children.

Lynne Featherstone MP said:

“By investing £317,486 in Haringey to help the most disadvantaged three and four-year-olds, Liberal Democrats are ensuring that children are getting the best possible start in life.

“All the evidence shows that helping children as early as possible is key to making sure they do not fall behind. That is why this announcement is fantastic news for children and parents.

“This is all part of our aim to create a fairer society and opportunity for everyone.”

Giving young people a fair start in life!

Here’s my latest Muswell Flyer column, also available here:

My early years were spent at Highgate Primary – one of the many great schools in Haringey borough. And the schools here are getting better and better, with particularly impressive exam results achieved this year by our bright students.

It’s so important that young people are given an excellent education, and have an equal opportunity to succeed regardless of their background or situation at home. But I’m also aware that some students, through no fault of their own, are still finding it harder than others to achieve the results.

That’s why the Lib Dems in Government are working hard to ensure every child gets a fair start in life.

Last month at the Lib Dem party conference, Nick Clegg announced that, from next year, all infant school pupils will be eligible for free school meals.

Free meals do already exist for children from poorer backgrounds – but research showed that many were not claimed because parents were not aware of the option, or unwilling to admit they qualified.

Making all infant school children eligible will remove this stigma – for parents and children. In addition, it will save parents an average of £437 a year per child; and ensure that all children are receiving a nutritious, healthy and filling lunch – something which is proven to have a positive impact on performance at school.

The Liberal Democrat Pupil Premium has also been giving schools extra funding since 2010 – with the money specifically targeted to schools with higher numbers of children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

This academic year, schools in Haringey will benefit from an extra £13 million on top of their usual budgets.

Schools themselves can decide how they use the extra money. I have met with Head Teachers to discuss how the money is being spent. Employing extra support staff, employing staff with particular language skills, funding after school clubs and subsidising school trips for poorer students are among the best examples I’ve heard.

The Liberal Democrats in Government are also focusing on jobs and apprenticeships – particularly to tackle youth unemployment.

Just before the Lib Dems entered Government in 2010, people who didn’t go to university were being left behind. Youth unemployment in my constituency was 7.1%, which was far too high.

Since entering Government the Lib Dems have helped create over 1 million jobs and 1.2 million apprenticeships. Apprenticeships in particular are helping young people learn trades, earn money, and build a career.

They’re popular too. I organised an event in Wood Green to match up our young people with companies looking for apprentices – and over 130 youngsters turned up to try and secure an apprenticeship.

And I’m pleased to say that youth unemployment in Hornsey and Wood Green is down by a third (to just 4.8%).

There is still a way to go before children and young people have equal opportunities to succeed and get on in life. But I believe these Lib Dem measures – free school meals, Pupil Premium and focus on apprenticeships – are a good start towards building a fairer society.

Pupil Premium boost for Haringey schools – MP Lynne Featherstone

Lynne Featherstone with the head teacher of Highgate Wood School, one of the schools she visited over the summer to find out how the Pupil Premium funding is being spentLynne Featherstone, Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for Hornsey and Wood Green, is urging local schools to share their experiences with the Pupil Premium funding given to schools by the coalition government.

Lynne Featherstone has written to schools in the area asking how they spent the Pupil Premium funding – calculated as £8.8 million for Haringey schools. She has also asked schools that ran summer schools under a related government scheme what their experiences have been.

Lynne Featherstone commented:

“I have heard from a number of local schools already. The Pupil Premium has been spent on increased pastoral support and in direct efforts to raise boys’ attainment; extra staff have been recruited to work on literacy and numeracy; Alexandra Park School has boosted its hardship fund and set up a youth group. One school in Wood Green plans to take on a careers advisor as part of its package of measures while another high school in the area has invested in providing literacy boosters for children entering the school with lower attainment levels.

“All of this sounds like great news but I want the full picture from all local schools.”

Councillor Katherine Reece, Liberal Democrat spokesperson on education issues in Haringey, added:

“The Pupil Premium is a powerful tool. The funding is linked to the child so people from poorer backgrounds are helped even if they live surrounded by relative affluence. And schools are free to spend the money as they think works best making it doubly flexible. It should make a real difference to local children.”

Lynne Featherstone and Haringey Liberal Democrats plan to publish a report sharing the experiences of local schools with the Pupil Premium later in the autumn.

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.”

Extra funding for Haringey’s children – Lynne Featherstone MP

Haringey’s schools are set to receive an extra £4.5million after the Liberal Democrats announced major investment for schools in Haringey through the Pupil Premium this week.
In its first year, the programme will target £625m extra funding to the poorest children in school, with this figure rising to £2.5bn each year, by the end of this Parliament.
In year one, every school is guaranteed an extra £430 from the Government for every child on free school meals and every looked-after child.
Commenting, Lynne Featherstone MP for Hornsey and Wood Green said:
“The pupil premium provides more money for disadvantaged children and means a better deal for Haringey schools.”
“By helping some of the most disadvantaged children, we can help whole school classes work together better and move forward faster. This is great news for children, parents and teachers alike.”
Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Cllr Rachel Allison adds: 
“The premium gives Headteachers in Haringey the freedom to use the money how they want, in the ways they know work – not how politicians in Whitehall tell them to.”
“Enabling children from disadvantaged backgrounds to have the best possible start in life was a key pledge of the Liberal Democrats going into the last general election. The pupil premium delivers on this pledge – by providing schools with £430 for every disadvantaged child on top of existing pupil funding.”