Stewart Arnold at a North Yorkshire schoool. The Party wants to see a Yorkshire Education Challenge similar to the one that was so successful in London: it’s the best way to understand the needs of schools in Yorkshire – rural and urban, large and small.
The Yorkshire Party will set out plans to create a Culture of Lifelong Learning in Yorkshire at its Annual Conference in Hull next weekend – October 13.
Ahead of the policy debate on education at the Conference, Party Leader Stewart Arnold said: “Education is a key. The burden for transforming educational achievement in Yorkshire should not be placed entirely on schools.
“That three out of 10 children in Yorkshire live in poverty and that 50,000 children, reliant on free school meals during term time, are at risk of ‘holiday hunger’ is unconscionable.
“Eliminating child poverty must be an imperative. The first three years of a child’s life play a hugely significant role in future development. We must, therefore, support parents and ensure the highest standards of early-years education.
“From this foundation, we must create a culture of lifelong learning through which children and young people can take pride in their local area, empowered by the knowledge that they have purpose and value.
“Above all, we want a Yorkshire Assembly with responsibility for education and to make addressing educational inequality a priority.
“We want a Yorkshire Education Challenge, overseen by a teacher-led commission, with a small, fast-moving taskforce to connect existing middle-tier structures and plug gaps, and understand the needs of schools in Yorkshire – rural and urban, large and small.”
Under its Culture of Lifelong Learning, the Party wants to:
Reinvest in Sure Start and similar programmes – which are practitioner-led and designed with parental input – to empower parents and enable children to thrive;
Cut the cost of training for early-years staff to increase the number of staff with knowledge of early-years methodology, leading to a positive impact on children’s learning;
Support private, voluntary and independent early-years providers to ensure consistently high-quality of early-years provision across all sectors, without higher childcare fees being passed on to parents;
Increase investment to ensure additional school-based early-years provision, particularly in areas of greatest need, to address fragmented provision across Yorkshire;
Create and implement a regional development strategy for early years to give practitioners an incentive to improve their skills continually, gain higher qualifications and progress their careers;
Foster grass-roots projects between schools, local businesses and a sustainable voluntary youth sector, and champion successful community partnerships through the Yorkshire Challenge.
See our vision for education at https://www.yorkshireparty.org.uk/education/
Read the Party’s call to blow time on the political game harming our schools at https://www.yorkshireparty.org.uk/blow-whistle-on-political-football-in-our-schools/
See Conference ticket and booking details at https://www.yorkshireparty.org.uk/events/2018-autumn-conference/