Labour's candidate for South Thanet, Raushan Ara, speaks out on education
Our children are our future. We need to invest in their education to develop their skills and abilities so that we can benefit as a society and to enable them to adapt to a rapidly changing world. An educated population empowers the whole community to realise their potential.
No one should be put off educating themselves due to lack of money and fear of crippling debts. At present, graduates are leaving higher education with debts upwards of £40,000 to £50,000 on their shoulders. We cannot allow this situation to continue as they can’t move forward with their lives while they owe so much.
The country suffers from a shortage of highly skilled professionals putting further strain on the NHS and education.
What does Labour plan to do?
- Labour plans to implement an NES ( National Education Service) that will allow people to access education from cradle to grave.
- Labour will fund 30 hours childcare and open more sure start centres to give the youngest children the best start in life.
- School lunches will be provided for all primary school children regardless of background. Schools will be properly funded and the cap on teacher’s pay will be removed so that highly skilled people will be attracted to the profession. This will address staff shortages that lead to super-sized classes.
- SATS tests will be abolished in favour of an enrichment curriculum that will grow the whole child and build self-confidence and allow ‘children to be children.’
- Labour will replace the plethora of options for students such as Free Schools, Academies and Grammars with a comprehensive system that will cater for a student’s strengths across the board.
Children should be given the same opportunities from an early age. Not everyone can afford to tutor their children to pass entrance tests and children develop at different stages.
Every child is unique; therefore every school should cater not only for the brightest but those with additional needs. Children should have the opportunity to be taught together where possible in local schools. This encourages an open and tolerant society.
Students in further education should have access to grants so that they can afford to carry on with vocational studies.
Apprenticeships should provide a living wage and small businesses should have subsidies so that they can train young people. £440 million will be invested in apprenticeships.
University students will be freed from the burden of debts so that they can pursue their professional careers no matter what their background is.
Throughout their educational career students will have access to mental health support to enable them to deal with the stresses they may encounter.
We are living in the 6th richest country in the world we can afford to provide opportunities for all. Labour will provide a good quality of life, education and opportunity ‘for the many not the few’.