In October, ahead of the Comprehensive Spending Review, Jon Cruddas MP co-signed a letter calling on the Department for Education to extend Free School Meal provision to more children in poverty.

Free School Meals were first established in 1906 and despite the changing eligibility requirements, the premise for doing so has remained constant- to provide a nutritional meal to children in order for them to learn and develop in and out of school.

 

From September this year The Book Trust sent out a ‘Time to Read’ pack to every reception age child who starts school across Dagenham and Rainham, and the rest of the country. This year they distributed over 740,000 ‘Time to Read’ packs across England reaching the families of children who started school in the most unprecedented circumstances this year.

 

Jon Cruddas MP is inviting everyone in Dagenham and Rainham to get involved in this year’s UK Parliament Week and join a UK-wide conversation about our democracy, people power and making change happen.

UK Parliament Week is an annual festival organised by the UK Parliament Education and Engagement Team, a service of the House of Commons and the House of Lords which seeks to inform and educate all citizens about the work and role of the UK Parliament.

 

This week in the wake of the A-Level results fiasco, Jon Cruddas MP contacted the Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson, voicing his concerns. Tens of thousands of young people were left let down and perturbed due to the Government grading system which caused the widespread downgrading of results. 

 

As schools prepare to return back after an extended break due to Covid-19, places for School Governors are opening up. National education charity ‘Governors for Schools’ have contacted Jon Cruddas MP as schools across Dagenham and Rainham are in need of committed and skilled volunteers.

Raising the quality of school governing boards improves the educational opportunities for young people. The expected challenges schools and young people will face following the pandemic mean that in the coming months schools will need assistance from effective governance more than usual.

 

New organisation ‘Class Connect’ is offering 450 children from Year 1 – 6 across Havering the chance to catch up on learning online over the summer for free.

The project was launched during lockdown by a Vice Principal at a Havering school. So far at the school a group of teachers have taught over 400 zoom lessons via Class Connect, now the founder wants to open applications up to other children across the borough.

Currently the summer programme has just over 270 children signed up, but they can accommodate for up to 450 in total.

 

16 London MPs, including Jon Cruddas have backed a campaign started by Virendra Sharma MP which calls on the Government to maintain free travel for children and young people in the capital.

 

This week the Principle and CEO of Barking and Dagenham College contacted Jon Cruddas MP with details of the economic recovery plan laid out by the Association of Colleges (AoC). The plan is called REBUILD: A skills led recovery and it sets out a clear directive to support workers and students, providing new opportunities to create employment and learning infrastructure.

 

The past week has been filled with discussions about children returning to school next month. Many people including I would support this move if the Government could guarantee the safety of teachers, staff, and our young people. As of yet they are unable to do this. The National Education Union have set out five tests that the Government must meet before they will support the wider reopening of schools;

1-     The new case count must be much lower than it is now, with a sustained downward trend.

 

Jon Cruddas MP has been contacted by a number of concerned residents regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) over the last week, and he has advised constituents to follow the official guidance issued by the UK Government, NHS, and local councils highlighted below. It is also advised to regularly check back with official information sources for any changes as this situation develops.

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