Youth Parliament debate on Religious Education

36884113_2142674362679830_8912681558725361664_nThis afternoon I chaired a debate on the teaching of RE in schools.

Young people from across the country, including a group from Whickham School in my constituency, have come to Westminster to debate issues around religious literacy.

They have debated the right to withdraw from RE lessons, challenging extremism and whether there is still a place for the study of RE in a modern, secular society.

I’m pleased that MPs have joined us to listen to such an eloquent and stimulating debate.

Thanks to NATRE, RE Today and the RE Council for organising such an informative and challenging session.

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Gateshead School Catering is best UK performer for the second year in a row!

Gateshead Council’s School Catering Service has been singled out for the second year running as the UK’s top performing school meals provider by the Association of Public Service Excellence (APSE).

Liz said “It’s great to see our council winning awards such as this. It shows the dedication of the 350 members of staff who provide more than 11,000 nutritionally-balanced meals every day in 80 primary and secondary schools across Gateshead and beyond.

In our 2017 manifesto, Labour rightly promised to bring in universal free school meals for all primary school children, and make sure no child is held back because their access to a good school meal is hindered by their background.”

Visit to St Joseph’s Junior School in Birtley

Liz visited St Joseph’s Junior School in Birtley this morning as part of Parliament’s Education Service and the North East outreach programme.

Liz said “Thank you to staff and pupils at St Joseph’s Junior School in Birtley this morning for such a warm welcome. There were so many fantastic questions from key stage 2 pupils about being an MP and how Parliament works.”

Further real-terms funding cuts for schools

NEU

Commenting on the Education Secretary’s statement to the House of Commons on the new schools National Funding Formula, Liz Twist MP for Blaydon said:

“Today’s announcement shows the Government has yet again failed to address the real issue at the heart of our schools; that there simply isn’t enough money going to schools in the first place. At the recent General Election school cuts came up time and time again on the doorstep, with many parents and teachers concerned that many schools were struggling to cope with the increasing demand and reaching a tipping point.

“The Education Secretary has now confirmed that, despite a record number of pupils in schools and inflationary pressures, there is no new money going into the system, meaning a real terms cut for schools.

“Schools across Blaydon constituency face real uncertainty about the future. Head teachers cannot be expected to make further “efficiency savings” when they are already struggling to set school budgets. Heads need to be able to plan for the future and this announcement gives very little detail about funding beyond 2020.

“This broken promise shows the true extent of Tory contempt for pupils, teachers and parents, many of whom are still waiting for new schools to be built seven years after the school building programme was cancelled. Only a Labour government can be trusted to reverse the school cuts and invest in our young people, to make sure that every child is given the opportunity to reach their full potential.”