Government should invest more so that schools can run fully funded extracurricular clubs – Wirral MP
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08 Jun 2021
Margaret Greenwood MP has called on the government to invest more so that schools can run fully funded extracurricular clubs and activities to boost time for children to play and socialise after months of being away from their friends.
The Labour MP for Wirral West, who is a former shadow schools minister and a former secondary school teacher, was speaking in response to a statement by the Secretary of State for Education after his department recently announced an additional £1.4 billion for education recovery following the coronavirus pandemic, in addition to £1.7 billion previously committed.
The government’s investment falls far short of the £15 billion called for by the government’s former Education Recovery Commissioner Sir Kevan Collins who last week resigned from his post saying that “The support announced by government so far does not come close to meeting the scale of the challenge.”
Teaching unions have also been critical of the government, with the National Education Union asking: “Where in these plans is the funding for extra-curricular activities to support children and young people to regain their confidence in their abilities and talents? Where is the funding for drama and music, sport and skills development?”
Labour recently announced its own Children’s Recovery Plan which would deliver the fully funded expanded range of extracurricular clubs that Margaret Greenwood alluded to. It would also deliver good quality mental health support in every school as well as continued professional development for teachers.
Margaret Greenwood MP said:
“I was pleased to be able to speak in Parliament on this important issue.
“If the government is serious about educational recovery, it must be far more ambitious and provide the resources that our children and young people need.
“The government’s own Education Recovery Commissioner, who was only appointed to the role in February, resigned last week because he felt the support announced by the government so far does not come close to meeting the scale of the challenge.
“The National Education Union has quite rightly described the government’s investment as “paltry”.
“Parents are all too aware of just how difficult the last year has been for their children.
“Activities such as sport, music, art and drama can provide fantastic opportunities for children and young people to develop new skills, socialise and grow in confidence. They are also important for health and wellbeing. It is very disappointing that the government has failed to deliver on this.
“I asked the Secretary of State to go back to the Chancellor and urge him to invest more so that schools can run fully funded extracurricular clubs and activities to boost time for children to play and socialise after months away from their friends.
“The government should put children and their wellbeing at the heart of our national recovery from the pandemic.
“Ministers should also be prioritising high quality mental health support in schools and the continuing professional development opportunities that teachers deserve.”