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Helping a Bolton College student with a quiz - May 2017

Like many areas of public service, sixth form education has been hit hard by funding cuts in the last few years.

Many young people from disadvantaged backgrounds find it harder to access this stage of education than they would have under the last Labour Government because of the ending of the Education Maintenance Allowance. Now they are being impacted again as budget cuts are eliminating schemes that address inequality and aid social mobility.

The best 16-19 education includes a range of support to help students, but budgets have been cut back to just the basics of funding an A-level.

Provision of careers advice, employability skills, study skills, mental health support and enrichment activities have all suffered as a result of Government cuts.

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Holding a Q&A with A-level students - October 2017


I recently met with the Principal of Bolton Sixth Form College who told me that the college is putting itself under financial strain to maintain these kinds of services.

However, we know from responses to recent parliamentary questions that there was a £135 million underspend in the 16-19 education budget in the 2014-15 financial year; a £132 million underspend in the 2015-16 financial year; and a £106 million underspend in the 2016-17 financial year.

The figures below show how much funding school sixth forms and colleges in Bolton North East lost out on as a result of the Government’s decision to redirect this underspend away from 16-19 education. (I’ve also included Bolton College and Bolton Sixth Form College, which sit in Bolton South East but are accessed by many students who live in my constituency.) Further information on the underspend, including methodology, can be found on www.supportoursixthformers.org

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Ahead of the Budget I have written to the Chancellor to ask that this underspend be reinvested in sixth form education. This would mean £200 extra per student targeted at delivering the rounded support that helps improve social mobility.

Funding sixth form education

Helping a Bolton College student with a quiz - May 2017 Like many areas of public service, sixth form education has been hit hard by funding cuts in the last...

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Nobody should ever have to go to work fearing that they will be threatened or abused, but for many retail staff this is a regular occurrence.

I am working with the shopworkers union Usdaw to highlight the problems faced by retail staff. Respect for Shopworkers Week runs from 13th to 19th November and seeks to prevent violence, threats and abuse directed at staff who are serving the public.

It is really important we stand together and ask people to keep their cool and respect shopworkers, especially as we approach the busy Christmas shopping period.

Usdaw’s survey of retail workers shows that half of shopworkers were verbally abused in the last year, with 29% being threatened with violence and 8% suffering physical assaults. A third of those suffering physical violence did not report the incident to their employer.

Abuse is not part of the job.

I will continue to campaign with Usdaw to provide shopworkers with the support that they need and deserve. We must give a clear message to everyone that abusing or assaulting workers who are serving the public is totally unacceptable. Everyone should be able to go about their work free from fear.

I am one of 49 MPs so far to add my name to the following Early Day Motion in Parliament in support of the campaign:

That this House applauds the members and representatives of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers for their Freedom From Fear campaign, which seeks to bring together employers, the police and local authorities to tackle the scourge of violence, threats and abuse against public-facing workers; further applauds the work of all trade unions in running campaigns that seek to protect their members at work; is appalled that public-facing workers are assaulted, threatened or abused; and calls on the Government to recognise the need to extend provisions in law to support the protection of shop workers by imposing an additional penalty for those who assault workers in the course of their duties.

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Sir David Crausby with Usdaw General Secretary John Hannett - 2014

Keep your cool this Christmas

Nobody should ever have to go to work fearing that they will be threatened or abused, but for many retail staff this is a regular occurrence. I am working with...

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During the General Election I raised concerns that local schools were facing huge cuts to their budgets under the Conservative plans to change the funding formula.

Over the summer, feeling the pressure, the Government announced extra measures that they claimed would fix the problem and help schools. I wrote at the time that the threat had not passed and we needed to see the details.

Now the details are clear. Some local schools won’t be hit as hard under this revised plan, but every single school bar one in Bolton North East will be worse off.

You can see key figures below and if you want more detail visit https://schoolcuts.org.uk

Education is one of the best investments that we can make as a country. I don’t want to see teachers forced to buy school supplies out of their own pockets while class sizes grow and standards fall.

The Chancellor needs to put this right in the budget and ensure all our schools are properly funded.

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Blackshaw School: -£59,913 budget change by 2019. -£288 per pupil

Bolton Parish C.E. School: -£37,873 budget change by 2019. -£183 per pupil

Bolton St Catherine's Academy: -£479,346 budget change by 2019. -£473 per pupil

Brownlow Fold School: -£45,996 budget change by 2019. -£221 per pupil

Canon Slade: -£389,498 budget change by 2019. -£287 per pupil

Castle Hill: £9,807 budget change by 2019. £48 per pupil

Eagley Infant School: -£61,693 budget change by 2019. -£355 per pupil

Eagley Junior School: -£52,433 budget change by 2019. -£223 per pupil

Egerton CP: -£72,086 budget change by 2019. -£331per pupil

Gaskell CP: -£67,619 budget change by 2019. -£203 per pupil

Gilnow C.P: -£52,182 budget change by 2019. -£247 per pupil

Hardy Mill CP: -£62,439 budget change by 2019. -£202 per pupil

Harwood Meadows Primary School: -£50,131 budget change by 2019. -£233 per pupil

High Lawn Community Primary School: -£113,416 budget change by 2019. -£276 per pupil

Holy Infant and St Anthony RC: -£30,545 budget change by 2019. -£153 per pupil

Leverhulme Community Primary School: -£88,068 budget change by 2019. -£216 per pupil

Moorgate School: -£68,287 budget change by 2019. -£257 per pupil

Oxford Grove C.P. School: -£119,747 budget change by 2019. -£312 per pupil

Red Lane Primary School: -£95,164 budget change by 2019. -£226 per pupil

SS Osmund and Andrew's RCP: -£48,003 budget change by 2019. -£134 per pupil

Sharples Primary School: -£22,781 budget change by 2019. -£112 per pupil

Sharples School: -£439,030 budget change by 2019. -£593 per pupil

St Brendan's RC Primary School: -£61,763 budget change by 2019. -£293 per pupil

St Columba's RCP School: -£23,494 budget change by 2019. -£112 per pupil

St John's RC Primary School: -£60,413 budget change by 2019. -£293 per pupil

St Paul's CofE Primary School: -£63,635 budget change by 2019. -£297 per pupil

St. Joseph's R.C. Primary: -£38,120 budget change by 2019. -£185 per pupil

St. Matthews C.E.P. School: -£75,206 budget change by 2019. -£181 per pupil

St. Maxentius C.E. Primary: -£57,957 budget change by 2019. -£260 per pupil

St. Stephen and All Martyrs': -£31,607 budget change by 2019. -£151 per pupil

St. Thomas' CofE Primary School: -£87,019 budget change by 2019. -£275 per pupil

The Oaks C.P. School: -£67,696 budget change by 2019. -£321 per pupil

The Valley Community School: -£63,665 budget change by 2019. -£151 per pupil

Thornleigh Salesian College: -£398,309 budget change by 2019. -£348 per pupil

Tonge Moor Community Primary: -£89,740 budget change by 2019. -£246 per pupil

Turton High School: -£394,543 budget change by 2019. -£330 per pupil

Walmsley C.E. School: -£60,896 budget change by 2019. -£175 per pupil

Bolton's schools face dramatic funding cuts

During the General Election I raised concerns that local schools were facing huge cuts to their budgets under the Conservative plans to change the funding formula. Over the summer, feeling...

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