Prime Minister and DfE Ministers must respond urgently

Last week several elements emerged in our Nation that require the Government to deal with. Some of them were raised within Parliament and others were raised externally but they were all being focused to the Government and indeed to the Prime Minister and the Department for Education. While we cannot contact the Prime Minister, eight of the sixteen Sussex MPs are Ministers and so they can communicate with their boss and two of them have now returned to the DfE. So far the only Sussex MP who has taken part in the Prime Minister question session is Caroline Lucas who is the Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion. She raised her question last week with the some of these comments

“His Government have not kept their climate promises. He has not delivered the $300 million that we still owe to the green climate and adaptation funds—when will we see that?” and she then stated “Will he support the establishment of a finance facility for loss and damage at COP27?”

Sadly, his response was not very effective, this is the full text of his answer

“On loss and damage, I have already made the point that we established the Glasgow dialogue to see how best to take forward those discussions. I will not pre-empt the discussions happening at COP, but that is not the same as reparations—I think the hon. Lady understands that—which is not what is on the table. That is clear in the language that is being debated at COP.”

So it would be very reasonable for all of the Sussex MPs including the eight Ministers to ask him to be more appropriate in his responses for the future responses to our local MPs. Given that the COP27 is so significant for our Nation and the World it is vital for our government to respond in a more effective way. A few hours after that question session, there were several aspects that emerged on the theme of education which came in both Parliament and externally. There was a debate that took place under the theme of “Levelling up Rural Britain” later on Wednesday and one MP who participated very significantly was Tim Farron who stated towards the ends of his initial comment

“rural schools are smaller. Their budgets are smaller to start off with and the unfunded pay rises and unfunded increases in energy costs mean that every single one of the schools I have spoken to in my constituency over the last week are planning staff reductions. That will only hurt our children. The Government do not understand that they need to support rural school funding, and it is only the children who will suffer.”

The only Sussex MP who was involved in the same debate was Sally-Ann Hart from Hastings and Rye and as part of her response later in the event she stated

“Research commissioned in 2021 by the Rural Services Network showed that wages are lower in the countryside, but that many living costs—fuel, travel and heating costs—are higher. It is also more expensive for local authorities to provide statutory services due to geography, demographics and density of population. Local authority funding formulas do need to be reconsidered”.

On the same day that Lucas and Hart were speaking in Parliament, there was a piece that arose in the Evening Standard newspaper that was focusing on the financial challenges in schools in London. The reality is that funding for schools across the UK is a problem. The following day a very challenging issue emerged from one of our local organisations

“The adult education charity had served more than 30,000 students in ten years, but ‘trading conditions’ forced trustees to close it today A charity that has provided adult and community education in West Sussex for ten years has suddenly ceased operations this evening. In a statement, Aspire Sussex announced that it was unable to continue trading due to “the devasting impact of the combination of Covid and the cost-of-living crisis on its operations”.”

On the same day that the news of Aspire Sussex arose, there was a piece in the online CYPNow source which included

Teaching assistants are among a raft of low paid education and health workers quitting in favour of roles in the retail sector with better wages, Unison is warning. Poor wages, lack of career paths and workplace stress are leading to the exodus from the public sector towards retail, according to the public services union.”

It is clear that we need the DfE and the Government to respond to these issues very quickly. The two local MPs in that setting are Gillian Keegan from Chichester who is now the DfE leader and Nick Gibb from Bognor Regis and Littlehampton who is now the Minister for School.

About ianchisnall

I am passionate about the need for public policies to be made accessible to everyone, especially those who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am particularly interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as health services and strategic planning.
This entry was posted in Brighton & Hove, Education, Environment, Journalism, Parliament and Democracy, Youth Issues and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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