Education and Skills
Education is not a privilege, it is a fundamental right. And ensuring all young people have fair access to education and skills training which meets their needs is essential to the future success of our economy. Without the Education Maintenance Allowance I would not have been able to complete sixth form. Without student loans, fees capped at £3,000 and a local authority grant I would not have been able to afford university. Without the last Labour government I would not have succeeded.
Successive Conservative governments have eroded the policies the last Labour government introduced to ensure everyone had fair access to the education and training they need to succeed.
I believe no child should be left behind, and every adult looking to change career paths and build new skills should be able to do so in a supportive and inclusive environment. Our teachers and college workers must be supported - and yes, they must be paid fairly too - in delivering successful results for our young people, and challenge the ideology of a one-size fits all education system.
We must work together across communities, institutions and the voluntary sector, supporting those for whom conventional skills and education training does not deliver so that everyone has the opportunity to succeed.