Andy Graham on School Funding and Young People

As part of our campaign for the general election 2017 the Broxbourne Liberal Democrats asked Andy Graham, our candidate, to answer some questions about a wide variety off issues facing the residents of Broxbourne. Here Andy talks about Schooling and young people.

 

How you have found working in Broxbourne’s schools and your views on current funding levels?

As Executive director of Snap Theatre for 26 years working extensively in Hertfordshire Schools, including Goffs and Presdales in Broxbourne, with education projects that supported the needs of schools with one day residencies on Sex Education, Road Safety and literacy has made a huge impact reducing teenage pregnancy, raising standards and most of all keeping young people safe through awareness of the decisions they make in their lives and the consequences of their action.

Snap Theatre won the Prince Michael Award arising out of this work.

Funding in schools is under threat by the increase in class sizes and the overburdening on teachers to be constantly testing.. Funding levels in real terms has to be increased in order for teachers to be recruited and the professions status is recognised by taking off the cap on teachers pay and security of the pupil premium being retained to support those children who need the additional support is not squeezed by ever increasing demands on their budgets.

Education is the heart of children and young people-s future we must invest in it and support the teaching profession in doing what they know best and that is teach so that young people reach their maximum potential!
How being chair of the youth committee (and working with young people) helps you to understand the issues they are facing?

Youth forums and working with young people in youth clubs to this present time, talking to young people, listening to young people and being challenged by them have helped me realise that many young people are positive, and deserve better. The old institutions of local and national government often are so alienating that young people play less of an active role in decisions that affect them now and in the future. This must change through the need of political and social history taught in schools to help inform culture and identity together with the voting at 16 as recognition of their responsibility in the wider society. Use of technology needs a complete overhaul to ensure apps of introduced to ensure that the world of governments and the aspirations of young people are not neglected by a generation who currently govern and engage by out of date means of communication.

For more information about Andy please click the ‘candidates 2017’ above or send us an email at contact@broxlibdems.org.uk

Conservative plans will take lunches away from 34,532 children in HERTS

34,532 schoolchildren in Hertfordshire will lose out on free lunches, under plans announced in the Conservative manifesto.

Free school lunches for pupils from reception to Year 2 were introduced by the Liberal Democrats in government, but Theresa May now plans to scrap them. The changes would cost families an average extra £480 a year for every child.

The Liberal Democrats have called on Conservative candidate Charles Walker to make it clear whether or not he would vote for the plans.

The Conservatives are also proposing to make older people pay for social care costs from the value of their own homes when they die. This means on average, families in Broxbourne would expect to see 71.90% of the value of their home spent on care costs.

Liberal Democrat Andy Graham commented:

“This Conservative manifesto shows the nasty party is back.

“Margaret Thatcher was known as the milk snatcher, it seems Theresa May will go down as the lunch snatcher.

“She is cynically snatching meals away from thousands of children in Hertfordshire, while the elderly receiving care in their own home will face a ‘Personal Death Tax’ charged against their home.

“Charles Walker must now come clean over whether he will vote to take away free lunches from the children of hard-pressed families.

“The Liberal Democrats will offer a brighter future by extending free school meals to all primary schools.

“We will stand up to Theresa May’s cold, mean-spirited Britain, protecting those that need the most help and fighting for more funding for our schools and hospitals.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

Figures on the number of children per school and local authority benefiting from universal infant free school meals can be found here. Universal free school meals for infant pupils (up to Year 2) were introduced by the Liberal Democrats in coalition government. Currently the government subsidises lunches for infants by £2.30 – these changes will mean removing £480 subsidy per child, per year.

Under Conservative proposals, for the first time, many people who receive care at home will have their home taken into account, to meet the costs when they die. This will apply to the almost half a million people who receive domiciliary care in the UK. Figures on the share of the average family home expected to be spent on social care costs can be found here, based on calculations provided by Royal London

Letter on Free School Meals

I would like to publicly ask the Conservative candidate at this election Charles Walker if they will vote in favour of denying kids in reception, year one and year two a hot school lunch if they are elected to the House of Commons on June 8th or if they will commit to the Liberal Democrat plan to extend free school meals to all kids at primary school?

The Conservative manifesto shows the nasty party is back. Theresa May wants to take away free school meals from kids in reception, year one and year two even though all the evidence shows that it helps kids academically.

Theresa May has made the wrong choice. By cruelly snatching away these hot meals tens of thousands of kids in Hertfordshire will lose out, and it will cost families £480 a year per kid. For a family with 2 kids that’s almost £1,000 a year, a betrayal of working families and breaks the promise they made only two years ago at the last election.

There is of course another way. A different choice. My party, the Liberal Democrats would introduce free school meals for all primary school children, so that the benefits to kids’ education currently limited to infants can be extended to all. That is a much better choice.

Liberal Democrats want to give all children a brighter future in a fairer Britain where people are decent to each other.

Don’t let the Tories take you for granted

Disappointingly, there is little doubt that the Conservatives will win this election, or that Charles Walker, the Tory candidate, will once again be returned as MP for Broxbourne.  In each case, all that is really in question is the size of the majority.

So, why bother voting?  Every extra seat the Conservatives win, every extra percentage point in Charles Walker’s majority, every person who doesn’t vote at all – all these send a signal to the Tories that they can take the voters of this country, and particularly those in “safe” seats like Broxbourne, for granted.

Theresa May has already made it clear that she would rather govern with no meaningful opposition, and Charles Walker’s voting record (for example, consistently voting against slowing the rise in rail fares) is symptomatic of someone who does not have to worry about losing his seat.  Strong opposition is a vital part of our political system, helping ensure that voters are not forgotten between elections.  The Liberal Democrats are ready to provide that opposition, and set out their ideas for a better direction for our country.

Every vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote that says “I believe in a better vision for this country”.  Every vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote that says “I believe the best governments, and the best MPs, are properly held to account.”  Every vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote that says “I will not let the Conservatives take me for granted.”