Angela Rayner MP

Angela Rayner MP

Angela Rayner was elected as Ashton-under-Lyne's MP in 2015, the first ever woman MP for a Tameside seat. After serving as an Opposition Whip, she was appointed Shadow Pensions Minister in January 2016. She grew up on a council estate in a deprived neighbourhood, went to the local state school and left at 16 when she was pregnant, after being told she would “never amount to anything.” She worked as a care assistant for the elderly, became an active trade unionist and was later elected to represent 200,000 public sector workers across the North West as UNISON Regional Convenor. Two of her children have disabilities and she is the main carer for her mother, who is bi-polar.

Angela Rayner MP

Angela Rayner MP

Angela Rayner was elected as Ashton-under-Lyne's MP in 2015, the first ever woman MP for a Tameside seat. After serving as an Opposition Whip, she was appointed Shadow Pensions Minister in January 2016. In June 2016 she became Shadow Womens and Equalities

Angela Rayner MP

Even Theresa May’s own backbenchers realise her approach to school funding is an exercise in moving inadequate sums of money around

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It speaks volumes that even Theresa’s own backbenchers realise her approach to school funding is simply an exercise in moving inadequate sums of money around. On top of this, their cuts to per-pupil spending will mean fewer teachers, cuts to school support staff and larger class sizes; while some schools are not even able to afford basic school repairs.

Labour supports the principle of moving towards a fairer funding formula for schools and will ensure that all schools have the funding they need. Only Labour will build an education system accessible to everyone, not just the privileged few.

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Why I'm voting for article 50

I fully support Jeremy on his position on calling for a three line whip on voting for second reading of the bill on Article 50. On such an important issue to which Jeremy has been clear on in terms of respecting the outcome of the referendum, it would have been a fatal mistake and seen as lack of leadership to not insist on a whipped position (which is what people attack JC for!)

We are putting down significant amendments and trying to hold the government to account with members from across the house. This will inform the public about what Brexit means to them and ensure we get a vote on the final deal. We cannot vote it down at second reading as this action is to 'block' brexit before we have even debated what it will mean and any details of a deal. This would be completely against the democratic process. It would be the end of the Labour Party if we disrespect the voters.

What's next saying as only 'X' percent of the electorate voted so the GE outcome is void etc. I totally understand why some of my colleagues feel the need to break the whip but let's not pretend that on decisions like these MPs don't break whips when their constituents feel so strongly about it. It happens in every parliament and every party.

There will be Tories that defy their whip also. To suggest that JC could duck a whipped position on this is really absurd. We have to do our best to hold the government to account and demand the facts throughout the parliamentary process before a final vote. That is the correct way to go about scrutiny whilst respecting democracy, not to vote it down before we have even had chance to debate and see the details.

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Our schools are in the middle of a perfect storm

The independent spending watchdog, the National Audit Office, says schools face £3billion cuts in spending by 2020.

Meanwhile, Education Secretary Justine Greening has just announced a new funding formula for schools, which has been branded as ‘unfair’ by a host of Tory backbenchers and by six leading education organisations, from the National Association of Head Teacher to the NUT.

They say 98 per cent of schools will now face cuts in their budgets, as the pupil population increases and costs soar.

Meanwhile on the ground, head teachers are already struggling with a cocktail of rising costs – no wonder 60 per cent of schools and academies are now in the red.

They have had to contend with meeting unfunded pay awards (1 per cent year on year); the abolition of the contracted out rate of National Insurance adding 2 per cent to salary costs; the increase in the employers’ contribution rate for theTeachers’ Pension scheme of 2.38 per cent.

Schools are also having to cope with less support from cash-strapped local authorities – this is specifically acute with mental health services for children in difficulty.

Teacher recruitment and retention is at an all-time low, with staff leaving the profession in droves. Agencies are now demanding increased prices for staff with expertise in subjects in short supply, as well as excessive ‘signing-on’ fees forfull-time staff on contracts.

Schools now estimate that they face a real time reduction in overall funding of 8-9 per cent.

With further increases in employer pension contributions for all staff and the new Apprenticeship Levy, the funding gap is set to increase to 12-13 per cent within the next two years.

Subjects are already being cut, posts being left vacant, class sizes growing.

Schools leaders are increasingly faced with desperate choices of whether they can afford to have classrooms cleaned, sport pitches mowed or to keep hold of vital support staff who are essential to school communities.     

Since three quarters of school budgets are taken up by staffing costs, I fear compulsory redundancies will be next.

Whenever I attend Headteachers’ meetings and conferences up and down the country the feeling is the same.

They are all passionate about children and their future but are all utterly despondent and dismayed, particularly about finance and teacher recruitment.

This situation is not sustainable and is beyond the control of schools and school leaders. If it continues, it will blight the future of generations of young people.

No school, no teacher, no school leader wants their children to fail.  However, schools will soon be at the point whereheads are forced to make really drastic decisions that will significantly impact on young people’s lives and education.

If our young people are to have a genuine opportunity to succeed in life post-Brexit, we must give them the resources to set them on their way.

Specifically, Chancellor Phillip Hammond can bring forward additional funding in his March budget on 8th March.

You can tweet about it on social media using the hashtag #schoolcuts

And I would urge everyone who cares about education and the future of our children to make your views known in the Department for Education consultation on their new funding formula by calling for additional funding for your school. The deadline for responding to the consultation is 22nd March.

At the General Election the Tories promised parents that they would make England the ’best country in the world’ for education. 

It is clear now that their legacy will be one of cutting school budgets, super-sized class sizes, a ‘brain drain’ of teachers, decaying school buildings, and no progress made on the international league tables.

Our country and our children deserve better. We have a real fight on our hands to make sure that every child gets the best education possible.

 

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7 reasons why Donald Trump would be worst president in history

Politics is a serious business and Donald Trump has proven himself grotesquely unfit for office through his flippant, offensive, dangerous and simply wrong comments.

Here summarised in 7 tweets is why he would be the worst US President in history

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Labour is strongest when united

Speaking at Labour Party conference yesterday, I outlined what the Labour Party will be able to do, from opposition, to help children and families throughout our country.

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Stop Your Silly Class War

Here is a speech I gave in the House of Commons about the government's proposal for more grammar schools:

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Jeremy should be allowed to get on with the job

I was opposed to this leadership election from the start.

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Brexit must not bring a bonfire of workplace rights

Since 2010, the advance of equality in Britain has been halted by austerity economics which have made life harder for millions of people. Women have been hit hardest by cuts to public services and our welfare state. Nearly two-thirds of workers in public services are women. 

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