Three local schools win awards for work with disadvantaged pupils

Lynne Featherstone MP with Hornsey School for Girls studentsAlexandra Park School, Highgate Wood Secondary School, and Hornsey School for Girls have been recognised as going the extra mile to help disadvantaged students.

The schools have received a £5,000 award for the work they have done to boost the achievements of pupils from less privileged backgrounds, by putting the Pupil Premium to effective use.

The Pupil Premium is £2.5bn of extra money that is targeted towards helping disadvantaged students in school. It is a key Liberal Democrat policy, now delivered in Government.

All three schools are now eligible to apply for a prize of up to £250,000 – the winner of which will be announced by Nick Clegg in March.

Lynne Featherstone MP said:

“It is great that three schools in Hornsey and Wood Green have received this award for excellent use of the Pupil Premium funding. I have visited all three of these schools over the past few years and have seen this good work for myself.

“The Pupil Premium funding helps make sure that everyone has the best chance to get on in life. That’s why the Lib Dems fought so hard to implement the policy, and why we’re rewarding those schools that have put it to best use.”

Liberal Democrat Schools Minister David Laws said:

“Alexandra Park, Highgate Wood, and Hornsey Girls can rightly be proud of their work to improve the life chances of children in Haringey.

“I would encourage all of the secondary schools which have received a prize to share their successful approach with other schools so they can learn from their experience.”

Lynne Featherstone MP launches local ‘safe school crossing’ petition

Lynne Featherstone MP has today launched a petition in support of the Haringey Lib Dems’ campaign for safer local school crossings.

Recently published figures show that over 40 schools in the borough do not have a pedestrian crossing within 80 metres.

The local Lib Dems are now calling on the Labour-run council to make sure every school in the borough has a pedestrian crossing nearby – so that all children can get to school safely.

Local MP Lynne Featherstone has a strong record of campaigning with residents and starting successful petitions. This year alone, Lynne’s campaigns have secured step free access at Alexandra Palace station and an extra £23.5 million for Haringey’s health services.

Liberal Democrat MP Lynne Featherstone said:

“Over 40 schools in our borough do not have a pedestrian crossing within 80 metres of their entrances. This means many parents and children have to cross busy roads just to get to school and back.

“That’s why we’ve launched this campaign for a safe crossing outside every local school. I’m in touch with head teachers and local residents, to gather support for the petition.  I hope as many local residents as possible will sign it.”

Cllr Liz Morris, Haringey Lib Dem Spokesperson for Children, comments:

“The Lib Dems believe that every school child in Haringey should be able to cross their road to school safely on a pedestrian crossing. In Haringey we have too many schools where pedestrian crossings are either too far away from the schools or the crossings themselves are poorly sited or laid out – and this puts our children at risk.

“The irony is that Haringey Council actively encourage children and families to walk to school because it is healthier and better for the environment yet many children cannot get to their schools safely.

“Labour-run Haringey Council must prioritise road safety around schools and we are calling on residents and the schools themselves, to support our campaign.”

Primary schools in Haringey to receive £16.8 million boost  

Lynne Featherstone MP with two school children in the Sensory Garden at St Paul’s Primary School in HaringeyPrimary schools in Haringey are set to receive an extra £16.8 million to boost achievement, the Liberal Democrats have announced.

The ‘pupil premium’ funding for 2015/16 will help teachers support those children at most risk of falling behind their colleagues. The money is targeted at schools with higher numbers of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Schools in Haringey have benefitted from the extra money since the Pupil Premium was introduced by the Lib Dems in Government in 2011. Locally, it has been used to fund extra staff members and after school clubs, and to subsidise school trips for poorer pupils.

Evidence shows raising the attainment of pupils by the end of primary schools has a direct impact on future exam results.

Lynne Featherstone MP said:

“Every child should be able to reach their full potential, whatever their background.

“The pupil premium will get extra money to schools in Haringey, targeted at the children who need it most.  Liberal Democrats are determined that teachers have the resources they need to give all pupils the best possible start in life, regardless of their background.

“Teachers in Haringey do a great job, and I can’t wait to see how they use this additional funding to help all our children and young people succeed.”


Strikes at our local schools

I’ve sent the following email about the NUT strikes in Haringey to local residents. Any residents who want to let me know their opinions on the strike can do so here

Strikes at our local schools are the last thing we want. Our local children miss out on learning opportunities, and parents have to arrange urgent childcare or take time off work.
This is exactly what is happening in Haringey at the moment.
The strikes follow the suspension of Julie Davies – Haringey’s National Union of Teachers (NUT) representative. Ms Davies was suspended months ago by the local authority, Labour-run Haringey Council, and a dispute has followed.
For a long time, local head teachers expressed concerns about Ms Davies. A week after tensions reached boiling point, Haringey Council suspended her – on grounds of gross misconduct.
Haringey Council should have stepped in much earlier and handled this better. 
Haringey’s own report (published nearly 2 years ago) said that a large proportion of primary head teachers and all secondary head teachers were deeply concerned about the “unconstructive role played by the main teaching union” and recommended an “urgent need to reconfigure union facilities time to ensure it supports the best interests of children.”
This should have been dealt with long before.
Instead, the situation has escalated following Julie Davies’ suspension. The NUT has called local strikes, which have already disrupted over 3000 local pupils. This also seems vastly disproportionate, and head teachers are livid.
That’s why I have contacted Haringey Council’s Chief Executive to ask for his direct intervention in finding a resolution – in what seems to now be a dispute between the Labour-run council and the Union.
Ultimately – I’m sure we all agree – it’s vital that the situation is resolved, and that no more teaching time is lost.
If you would like to let me know what you think – please do fill in this survey. I’m keen to hear as many opinions as possible.



Lynne Featherstone MP visits local secondary school

Lynne Featherstone MP with the Woodside High school children, and the picture they presented her. Lynne Featherstone MP recently visited a local secondary school, Woodside High, to meet with newly elected school council members in year 7 and attend a Q&A.

The students had the chance to ask their local MP a variety of questions about her political career and the work she is doing locally and in Government.   They also discussed the importance of education, and the experience of starting at a new school.

This Liberal Democrats in Government have introduced measures like the ‘Pupil Premium’ to help schools. The £2.5 billion fund puts more money in schools, targeted at pupils who need the most help. This fund has given Haringey schools an extra £13.1 million this year.

At the end of the visit, the children presented the Lib Dem MP with a gift to thank her for coming.

After the visit, Lynne Featherstone MP commented:

“It was a pleasure to visit Woodside High and see how the new intake of children are getting on.

“I always enjoy visiting local schools in my constituency. It was great to see how engaged the children were with politics and how well they are settling into such a wonderful school.”

Lynne Featherstone MP welcomes free school meals announcement

Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg has announced that every child in infant school in England will receive free school meals.

From September 2014, all infant school pupils (including 9,426 in Haringey) will benefit from a free hot and healthy meal at lunchtime.

This will save families around £400 a year per child, while helping to raise school standards and cut the attainment gap.

The announcement follows an independent review which found that, in pilots where all children had been given a free school dinner, students were academically months ahead of their peers elsewhere.

Commenting, Lynne Featherstone MP said

“Free meals did 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 ensure that all children are receiving a nutritious, healthy and filling lunch, which is proven to have a positive impact on performance at school.

“The measure saves parents money, too. During the course of a year, the average family spends £400 on lunch for each child. Now, they will not have to spend this – which means that parents of the 9,426 eligible children in Haringey will collectively be £3.7million better off!

“The Liberal Democrats are committed to creating a fairer society by giving everyone an equal chance to succeed and get on in life – and this policy is a step in the right direction.”

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.

A Busy Start to Summer!

Here is my latest Muswell Flyer article – about the start of summer in late June / July….

What a whirlwind the last few weeks have been. It has been so busy, but full of great events and finally some good weather too!

Thankfully, the weather picked up just in time for the grand finale of the independent shops competition. What a great day that was – celebrating our best local independent stores outside Hornsey Town Hall with a live band, hot food and free local beer! Congratulations again to the worthy winners: Brand New Start, Big Green Bookshop and Owen’s Food Store.

The week after, I had the great honour of being reselected as the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Hornsey and Wood Green. There was a huge turnout, and it was so heart-warming when the great Lib Dem members of this constituency put their faith in me again. And what a bonus to have my political heroine Shirley Williams at the event, supporting me and giving a fantastic speech.

Lynne Featherstone MP, Ed Davey MP and the Haringey Liberal Democrats celebrate Lynne's reselection

But there was no time for extended celebrations – the day after the reselection, the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg come to visit Highgate Wood, a school in the constituency.

Nick was here to see how the school is using its Pupil Premium money. The Pupil Premium is a Liberal Democrat flagship policy that is being delivered by the Coalition Government. It targets extra money to schools depending on the number of children from disadvantaged backgrounds they have.

Schools will receive £900 per eligible pupil. For Highgate Wood, this means a whopping £413,100 in extra funding for 2013/14.

Nick and me talking to Food Tech students!

Nick and me talking to Food Tech students!

Shortly after Nick’s visit – there was also good news about the Whittington Hospital. The Board released their revised strategy for the future of the hospital. They have u-turned on their plan to sell off buildings without consultation.

This is very welcome news. Whilst we recognise that some changes will have to be made to secure the future of the hospital – consulting with the public and protecting services is paramount. That’s why we launched a petition calling on the Whittington Board to consult local residents and guarantee that there will be no loss of services until equal or better were in place.

I’d like to thank all 3000 residents who signed the Lib Dem petition. Because of you, the Whittington Board agreed to the listening exercise and has consequently changed their plans.

Lynne Featherstone and Haringey Liberal Democrats celebrate Whittington success

This is why I’m so delighted to be reselected as the Lib Dem candidate for this area. I want to carry on campaigning with residents on the issues that matter – like Pinkham Way, the Whittington, and securing fairer funding for Haringey’s health and education services. I also want to run more competitions like the independent shops one – promoting and supporting our cherished local amenities.

And, I want to be in a position to keep implementing policies like the Pupil Premium – which is directly benefitting children in this area – and across the UK.

The road to the 2015 election starts here – and I will be keeping myself, and fellow Lib Dem activists and supporters, very busy!

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.”

Local MP meets speech & language therapy heroes at school for the deaf

Lynne and Ahmed speaking about the students’ ICT workTo see how Haringey’s Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) service is transforming lives for residents with communications problems, Lynne Featherstone MP on Friday visited Blanche Nevile school in Muswell Hill.

The school for the deaf is a regular user of the SLT service, and the Liberal Democrat MP got to see how therapy work has made a world of difference to the communication skills of the school’s pupils. The Hornsey and Wood Green MP’s visit was part of an awareness campaign by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists called ‘Giving Voice’.

The SLT service across Haringey works with the whole age range from babies and children through to adults and the elderly, including adults with Learning Disabilities, to help them improve across a whole range of needs: interaction skills, communication, language, speech and quality of life, including eating, drinking & swallowing difficulties.

With over 1 million children and young people in the UK in need of speech, language and communication support, the equivalent of 2-3 pupils per class, there is a huge demand for support. With two thirds of 7-14 year olds with serious behavioural problems having a language impairment, and 60-80% of young offenders having a communication disability, the need for early intervention is essential.

Lynne Featherstone MP comments:

“The visit to Blanche Nevile today has been a real eye opener. Speech and Language Therapists are real heroes and can truly be lifesavers, and the progress they have made with many of the school’s students is impressive.

“There are so many reasons why it is essential that children get early support with communication problems. Not least to help them interact with the world around them, but also because of the link between poor communication skills and both mental health problems and youth offending.

“Early intervention is necessary for prevention, and I was very impressed to hear of the service provided for residents here in Haringey.”