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Labour today publishes analysis of overcrowding in English primary schools with more than half a million pupils being taught in super-size classes. It reveals:

 

  • The South East is the worst hit area with latest figures showing over 90,000 primary school pupils in classes over 30

 

  • 542,679 children are now in super-size classes in primary school, as class-sizes continue to rise

 

  • 39,000 primary pupils are in classes of over 36 pupils and 16,571 are now in class sizes of at least 40

 

  • The mounting pressure on school places is now starting to hit secondary schools, with figures showing an increase in the number of pupils in very large classes in the last year

 

  • The number of infant school children (between the age of 5 and 7 years) in classes over 30 has almost trebled since 2010

 

Commenting on the figures, Shadow Schools Minister, Mike Kane, said:

 “These figures expose seven years of Tory failure in our schools. The number of pupils being taught in super-sized classes is skyrocketing while schools face the first real terms cuts to their budgets in a generation.

“This situation is unsustainable. If the Tories wanted to give every child the education they deserve they would ensure that children were not crammed into super-sized classes.

“A Labour Government would ensure that schools are built where they are needed, and cap class sizes at 30 for all primary school pupils.”

 

Ends 

 

South East worst-hit by super-sized classrooms

Labour today publishes analysis of overcrowding in English primary schools with more than half a million pupils being taught in super-size classes. It reveals:   The South East is the...

Today, Tom Watson MP, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport was in Hove to visit FuturLab- an award winning British mobile and console games developer. 

Brighton and Hove is home to one of Europe’s most creative and vibrant digital and IT Clusters; and to a community of entrepreneurs keen to contribute to policies that encourage future growth.

As part of Labour’s week of campaigning on education, Tom, joined by Peter Kyle MP, met with Kirsty Rigden, Development Director and James Marsden, Managing Director at FuturLab to discuss Labour’s plan to invest in the creative and digital economy and to tackle the digital skills crisis head on.

Tom Watson MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said:

“Brighton and Hove is at the forefront of the digital revolution, and it’s brilliant to see what so many new tech businesses are doing for the area. 

“FuturLab is at the centre of progress on Virtual Reality and are producing fantastic games. 

"I'm a gamer, I've played thousands of games over the years, but their newest release, Tiny Tracks, was the most impressive virtual reality game I've played yet. 

“If we are going to sustain the success story that is the British Games industry we have to invest from early on and make sure we have an education system that produces the talent we need to sustain growth.

“The current situation where 22% of school IT equipment is ineffective and 65% of computer science teachers don’t have a relevant qualification is just not good enough.

“Labour will make it a priority that the sector gets the support it needs so Brighton and Hove’s success story can be replicated across the country.”

Peter Kyle, MP for Hove and Portslade, said:

"I'm so proud to be MP for an area that has such talent and creative entrepreneurs. 

“I set up my own digital company twenty years ago so I understand the pressures and the rewards of working in Hove and Portslade - that's why week in, week out I'm working to support these amazing small businesses to grow."

Ends

Notes to Editors:

The core UK games Industry contributed £755m in direct Gross Value Added to the UK economy in 2015. The industry directly employed 12,100 full-time employees in 1,802 active games companies- a growth rate of 63% between 2011-2015 (The games industry in numbers https://ukie.org.uk/research)

Despite the huge growth in the industry, in 2016 a Parliament Science and Technology Select Committee report found that 12 million people in the UK lacked basic digital skills.  (https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201617/cmselect/cmsctech/270/270.pdf

Labour’s plan to invest in the creative and digital economy

Today, Tom Watson MP, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport was in Hove to visit FuturLab- an award winning...

Over a million people in the South East will lose out by £10,000 each under Government’s plans for state pension age change

New analysis by the House of Commons Library has revealed that 7.6 million people will lose out by nearly £10,000 each under the Government’s plans to bring forward changes to the state pension age. 1,066,000 people will lose out in the South East.

The change will affect all men and women currently between the age of 39 and 47, who will be forced to work a year longer before they can access their state pension entitlement.

The Government’s announcement of their plans to bring forward changes to the state pension age last Thursday came more than two months after their legal deadline, 7 May 2017, evading debate on the issue leading up to the General Election.

The announcement was heavily criticised, as it followed evidence from the renowned expert on life expectancy, Professor Sir Michael Marmot, who just days before had described how a century-long rise in life expectancy was “pretty close to having ground to a halt.” Professor Marmot pointed to 2010 as the turning point, when the Government began its austerity programme.

Just over a week ago, the Government’s own advisory body, Public Health England, had published data showing significant disparities in Healthy Life Expectancy. For example, it showed how on average a man living in Nottingham would be only be expected to live in good health until the age of 57, a full eleven years earlier than the Government’s newly timetabled state pension age increase to 68.

A Director of Public Health England described how the average pensioner will now have to deal with a “toxic cocktail” of ill health throughout their whole retirement, and for some years before.

Debbie Abrahams MP, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, said:

“This is a disgraceful and unjustified attack on the state pension by this Government, who are asking millions of people to work longer to pay for their failing austerity plans.

“Labour want to take a measured approach, leaving the state pension age at 66 while we review the evidence emerging around life expectancy and healthy life expectancy, considering how we can best protect those doing demanding jobs and the contributions they have already made.”

Ends

Notes to editors:

1.      Quote from House of Commons Library analysis of the impact of changes to the state pension age: “Table A.1, page 32 of the Government’s State Pension Age Final Report shows that the SPA change announced on Wednesday will reduce state pension expenditure by around £74 billion between 2037/38 and 2045/46 (the period over which people will be affected by this change). £74 billion divided by 7.6 million equals an average ‘loss’ of around £9,800 per person. This is what we might expect, as it is approximately equivalent to around one year’s worth of payments of the new State Pension (£159.55 per week * 52 weeks = £8,300 per annum).”

 2.      Comments on trends in Life Expectancy by Professor Sir Michael Marmot:[https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jul/18/rise-in-life-expectancy-has-stalled-since-2010-research-shows

3.      Public Health England report into Healthy Life Expectancy: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/health-profile-for-england/chapter-1-life-expectancy-and-healthy-life-expectancy 

 

Over a million people in the South East will lose out by £10,000 each under Government’s plans for state pension age change

Over a million people in the South East will lose out by £10,000 each under Government’s plans for state pension age change New analysis by the House of Commons Library...

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