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Jim Fitzpartick
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Education

31 Jul

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Jim Fitzpatrick reveals impact of Child Poverty in Tower Hamlets

July 31, 2017 | By | No Comments

15,760 children will go hungry in Tower Hamlets over the summer holidays as they will not be able to access the free school meal they were entitled to during term time.

Across the London there will be a total of 212,238 children going hungry without their free school meal, and a total of 700,000 children growing up in poverty will be at risk of going hungry over the summer.

New Trussell Trust data shows increasing reliance on food banks during the summer, with 47% of food parcels that went to children going to primary school aged children.

Across London, hundreds of thousands of children are at risk of going hungry over the holidays. There will be a total of 700,000 children at risk of going hungry this summer across the city, as they are growing up in poverty and their families may not have the money they need to make sure the children are fed.

Real wages are falling in real terms as inflation rises, which will leave more children at risk of going hungry.

Commenting on the statistics Jim Fitzpatrick, Labour MP for Poplar and Limehouse said:

“It is unacceptable that in 2017 so many children are at risk of going hungry in our community. The last Labour government I was a part of lifted 1 million children out of poverty- one of our proudest achievements. Our ambitious plan was to eliminate child poverty by 2020 but instead, under the Tories, it’s at a seven-year high.

“Tower Hamlets is the worst affected area in London- over 15,000 children will no longer receive the free school meal they were eligible for during term time.

“Labour showed what can be achieved and only Labour will do what is required. Every child deserves to be well fed regardless of their background, and we will introduce a Real Living Wage of £10 an hour to ensure that every family is able to make ends meet.”

05 Apr

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Do you have what it takes to change the world? asks Jim Fitzpatrick MP

April 5, 2017 | By | No Comments

The British Council seeks exceptional young people aged 18-35 to join a nine-day workshop to develop leadership skills, learn from global policy experts and attend private meetings with inspirational leaders.

Successful applicants will take part in regional heats to win the opportunity to meet with MPs in the UK Houses of Parliament

The search is on for a new generation of leaders to join emerging leaders from nine other countries for an intensive policy and leadership development opportunity, culminating in a conference in the UK Houses of Parliament.

Future Leaders Connect, launched this year by the British Council, will offer nine days of leadership learning and development for young people to provide them with the skills they need to turn innovative ideas in to tangible policy recommendations.

Those taking part will meet heads of NGOs, policy-makers and British MPs.

Jim said:

“We have a long, proud tradition of democratic policy-making in this country and this is a great opportunity for the next generation of leaders to take it forward. The connections these young people will make not only with UK decision makers but also with their counterparts from across the world, will be invaluable to them in their careers.

“I would urge anybody from Poplar and Limehouse who wants to make a difference, have their voice heard and become a great leader, to apply to Future Leaders Connect.”

Anyone who would like to take part needs to submit an online application by 23.59 Sunday 14 May. They will be asked what their unique policy ideas are and about their experience as a leader.

www.britishcouncil.org/future-leaders-connect

They will join finalists from ten other countries for a nine-day programme which will include training in public speaking, policy development expertise and leadership skills. This culminates with one day in the Houses of Parliament, meeting MPs and law makers.

Sir Ciarán Devane, the Chief Executive of the British Council, said: “An international outlook is vital for the future leaders of all countries, if they wish to overcome the challenges they will face.

“Through Future Leaders Connect the British Council will help a new generation to understand practical policy development by putting them in contact with the leaders of today. The programme will help them to develop the skills and international contacts they need to make positive change in their countries.”

29 Mar

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Schools funding debate

March 29, 2017 | By | No Comments

Helen Hayes, Labour MP for Dulwich and West Norwood secured a very important Westminster Hall debate on schools funding in London.

Prior to the debate I was contacted by a number of primary schools and constituents in Poplar and Limehouse who were all concerned by the implementation of the new funding formula. The head at Cubitt Town School informed me they stand to lose £747 per pupil due to the changes. Schools in Tower Hamlets and across London are facing extreme pressure and simply cannot afford these cuts.


Follow the links to watch or read the debate in full or jump straight to my contribution here.

22 Jan

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Maintenance Grants – Third Delegated Legislation Committee 

January 22, 2016 | By | No Comments

Thursday 14 January 2016

Education (Student Support) (Amendment) Regulations 2015

grants

Watch Jim’s contribution online here

Full excerpt of Jim’s speech:

12.32 pm

Jim Fitzpatrick (Poplar and Limehouse) (Lab):  Mr Percy, it is a pleasure to see you presiding in the Committee today. I will be brief.

I start by echoing the comments of my hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield Central (Paul Blomfield) that the Minister is held in high regard, so it is disappointing that he has brought these regulations to the Committee. However, we have been here before. Maintenance grants were abolished by the Labour Government between 1997 and 2001. Looking round the room, I think only my hon. Friend the Member for Blackpool South (Mr Marsden) and I were here at the time.

For me, the issue was huge and still is. The vast majority of my young people in Poplar and Limehouse—the constituency was Poplar and Canning Town then—were not impacted by the introduction of tuition fees at £1,000, and I supported it. I still support tuition fees, not at £9,000 but at a more moderate level. The income threshold for my young people meant that they would not have to pay tuition fees. My worry was about those who were just above the threshold for whom grants were critical in allowing them to go on to higher education.

The issue is personal because my two brothers in Glasgow went to university and college, presumably only because they received a grant. I do not think my parents could have afforded to pay for my brother to go to Glasgow University and my other, younger brother to go to Glasgow Art School and then Dundee Art College. It was my only rebellion during the 1997-2010 Labour Administration. Conservative Members should know that standing on principle is not an impediment to promotion. In fact, it get may get them noticed. They should think long and hard, because this is a major issue. To the credit of the Labour Government, they changed their mind a few years later because they recognised the impact of the measure and restored maintenance grants.

Column number: 21 

The Prime Minister, to his credit, speaks a lot about social mobility but, as we have heard, many people think this measure will impact on social mobility. My hon. Friends have outlined the case very strongly and much better than I could. I appeal to the Government on behalf of my young constituents not to proceed with these regulations today. I congratulate the shadow Minister, my hon. Friend the Member for Blackpool South, on the very powerful case he has mounted, supported by other Opposition Members. This measure reflects badly on the Government and it reflects even more badly on them that we are dealing with it in Committee, rather than in the full glare of the public in the Chamber, where many more colleagues, who would have wanted to contribute, could speak. This issue is fundamentally important for those people in our society who need a helping hand up. We need to ensure that they can share the great life that we all live in Britain.

12.35 pm 

11 Jan

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Early day motion 923

January 11, 2016 | By | No Comments

FREE SCHOOL MEAL REGISTRATION

That this House regrets that there are hungry children in this country who are entitled, but not registered, to receive free school meals; notes that, as a consequence of this under-registration, their schools miss out on Pupil Premium funding which is tied to free school meal registration; calls on the Government to provide local authorities with the duties and powers required to identify and automatically register all children eligible for free school meals, and to provide for an opt-out where the family wishes; and supports the Ten Minute Rule Bill introduced to achieve this.

Jim signed: 6.01.2016

11 Jan

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Early day motion 629

January 11, 2016 | By | No Comments

SIGHT TESTS IN SPECIAL SCHOOLS

That this House is concerned that thousands of children with learning disabilities, who are estimated to be 28 times more likely to have a serious sight problem, are not accessing their right to a free NHS sight test; believes that work by the charity SeeAbility and others in special schools has shown that sight testing in a safe, familiar and convenient environment by professionals, helps a child co-operate with a sight test, understand the benefits of wearing glasses and to participate and achieve their full potential in school; draws attention to SeeAbility’s report entitled, An Equal Right to Sight, which calls for a national plan to meet the eye care needs of children with learning disabilities in England; observes that paying optometrists the same fee for attending a special school as they receive for a high street sight test does not reflect the adjusted and specialist eye examinations these children crucially need; and, as a start, encourages the Government and the NHS to work together to create a comprehensive national programme and a properly-funded system to make sight tests available in all special schools in England, therefore supporting over 100,000 children in special schools who have the most complex needs.

 

Jim signed: 04.11.2015

11 Jan

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Early day motion 829

January 11, 2016 | By | No Comments

EDUCATION

Session: 2015-16
Date tabled: 08.12.2015
Primary sponsor: Corbyn, Jeremy
Sponsors: Eagle, Angela Watson, Tom Marsden, Gordon McDonnell, John Winterton, Rosie
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Education (Student Support) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 (S.I., 2015, No. 1951), dated 29 November 2015, a copy of which was laid before this House on 2 December 2015, be annulled.

Jim signed: 06.01.2016

21 Dec

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Primary Schools in Poplar and Limehouse are being offered the chance to plant free trees with help from the Woodland Trust

December 21, 2015 | By | No Comments

Schools across Poplar and Limehouse are being offered the chance to connect with nature and improve their local area by planting trees – for free.

Children can look forward to planting a copse or hedge, which can provide a wild harvest, or a burst of year round colour.

Defra is now supporting The Woodland Trust to offer an additional 45,000 British native trees to 7000 state funded primary schools in England.

As well as free tree packs, for eligible schools, there’s help with finding somewhere else to plant if there isn’t room in school grounds; protection to help the trees grow; and on-line curriculum-linked resources to support teachers’  lesson plans.

Jim Fitzpatrick MP said: “This great opportunity will help schools improve their local environment and enable children to learn about nature. Trees bring enormous benefits.”

Beccy Speight, Chief Executive of The Woodland Trust said:  “It’s vitally important children get the chance to plant a tree. We know from our research it’s a memory they’ll treasure for years to come, and often starts their relationship off with the natural world and all the benefits that brings. This scheme offers schools which have found it hard in the past, a new way to plant trees, and bring an oasis of green into their community.”

Apply for a free tree pack by visiting the Woodland Trust website, or search ‘School tree packs’ online: http://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/plant-trees/in-your-community/apply-for-a-school-tree-pack/

The closing date for applications is January 8th 2016.

12 Oct

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Growing teacher shortage under the Tories

October 12, 2015 | By | No Comments

There is a growing teacher shortage crisis in schools in Britain. Analysis by the House of Commons Library for Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Education Lucy Powell MP shows that rising numbers of teachers quit this year, the highest figures since records began. This year more teachers quit than actually entered the profession.

Applications to teach in London are also falling – down by 2,780 applications compared to this time last year. Official figures reveal that the country will need nearly 160,000 additional teachers over the next 3 years, yet on current trends there could be a shortfall of 65,000 applicants over this period. On top of this, pupil numbers continue to grow – with a projected 582,000 more primary and secondary-age pupils by 2020 – requiring thousands more teachers just to maintain class sizes at their current level.

I know from speaking to parents that their biggest worries are finding a place for their child at a good local school and having excellent teachers to teach them and give them the best education. The government needs to take urgent action to end this shortage so pupils don’t pay the price.

10 Jul

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JIM FITZPATRICK MP ENCOURAGES STUDENTS TO ENTER VIDEO COMPETITION ON DESIGNING A DEMOCRATIC SYSTEM

July 10, 2015 | By | No Comments

Jim Fitzpatrick MP is encouraging all local A-level students in Poplar and Limehouse to take part in the Political Studies Association’s Student Short Video Competition which returns for a fifth year. 

The Political Studies Association (PSA) exists to develop and promote the study of politics.  As part of their programme of activities to engage young people in the study of politics, the Association runs an annual short film competition open to students who will be studying during the academic year 2015-16.

This year’s competition asks students to explore the question: “Designing for Democracy – what would you propose?”  Groups of A-level students are invited to submit short videos on this subject, outlining what they would suggest if they could design a democratic system from scratch.

Shortlisted groups will be invited to The Speaker’s House in the Palace of Westminster to discuss the ideas raised in their video with a panel of politicians, journalists and academics.  Previous jurors have included Shami Chakrabarti, Victoria Derbyshire and Baroness Doreen Lawrence.

The winners of the Student Short Video Competition will receive their award at the PSA’s Annual Awards Ceremony in Westminster.  Broadcast on BBC Parliament, this year’s ceremony takes place on 1st December in London and accommodation is provided for the winning group and their teacher in a central London hotel.  On top of this, the winning students will each be invited to spend a week volunteering with and shadowing the YouGov political team during their school holidays.

Commenting, Jim Fitzpatrick MP for Poplar and Limehouse said:

“Encouraging young people to become more engaged in politics is really important.  I’d encourage all local A-level students to take part in this competition and submit their ideas and videos.  Good luck to all Poplar and Limehouse students taking part.”

CEO of the Political Studies Association, Helena Djurkovic, said:

“The Short Video Competition is a great chance for students to explore contemporary political issues in a creative way and to learn or enhance new skills, such as video production and interview style.  This year’s theme on democracy we feel is very apt given the current debates around representation, voting reform and disengagement amongst young people with traditional Westminster politics.

“The prize on offer for the winning students is very unique.  The competition is recognised at our Annual Awards Ceremony and remains very popular with our teacher members’ schools.  The quality of entries continue to improve year on year – we’re looking forward to judging 2015’s entries in the autumn.”

Full competition details for 2015 and how to enter are published on the PSA’s website at:  www.psa.ac.uk

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Jim Fitzpatrick MP