Government needs to step up on eduction
Government needs to step up on eduction
Northumberland Labour group is calling on the government to get its act together to protect children’s education.
Labour is calling on the government to:
•        provide access to a device for every child who needs one
•        provide internet access for every child who needs it
•        work to remove data charges by “zero-rating” educational websites and, where possible, ensure school digital delivery is exempted from mobile and other data packages, to stop mobile data charges from pricing disadvantaged families out of education
•        work with schools and pupils to deliver a guarantee of minimum contact time with teachers
Labour also wants to see the following provisions for working families affected by school closures:
•        Make it a legal and enforceable right for working parents to request paid furlough, and promote it to all working parents to help them get through this lockdown.
•        Specifically promote the flexible element within the Covid Job Retention Scheme, so parents and employers know they can be furloughed for part of their working hours.
•        Assess whether the current employer contribution within the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, covering National Insurance and pension contributions, are acting as a disincentive for employers to furlough parents.
•        As soon as possible, bring forward a strategy setting out how parents who have sadly lost their jobs will be supported to re-enter work, including how the recently announced Restart scheme will be tailored to the particular needs of job seekers who are parents.
Labour Deputy Leader and Shadow Children’s Services Cabinet Member said: “Education Secretary Gavin Williamson’s cavalier approach to children’s education has put the life chances of a generation at risk.
“His incompetent handling of the return of schools and colleges is creating huge stress for parents, pupils, and school and college staff and damaging children’s education. This constant last minute action and u-turns is truly dreadful. If the education sector behaved like the Education Secretary, he would have something to say about it.
“The government failed to get mass testing for schools and colleges in place when Labour called for it and they have failed to develop credible plans for remote learning when pupils cannot be in school.

“They have had nine months since the start of the pandemic to tackle the digital divide in children’s learning, yet thousands of pupils are still unable to access online education. IIf ministers do not urgently adopt Labour’s proposals, the digital divide in access to education risks failing a generation.”

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