Save Our Schools

In the recent budget we got no money for our schools except for 'A' level maths. In Brighton and Hove we've now lost 60% of our teaching assistants due to the cuts, and most schools are suffering the loss of specialist staff, teachers, and equipment.

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In the recent budget we got no money for our schools except for 'A' level maths. In Brighton and Hove we've now lost 60% of our teaching assistants due to the cuts, and most schools are suffering the loss of specialist staff, teachers, and equipment.

There are many powerful advocates for this, and I try to be as good as I possibly can. But there's one group who speak loudest and best of all....young people themselves.

That's why it was an unmitigated pleasure to welcome primary and junior school children to parliament recently. Caroline, Lloyd and I met and answered their questions, and one of the kids asked me about the green benches. So I took them over to teh Commons chamber and begged and bribed the door keepers to let me take them into the special gallery of the chamber.

This was a big issue for the staff, but finally after vouching for them I was able to lead them into the chamber. Before we went in I made them promise not to make any noise and not to wave at the MP's....but they were all so beautifully behaved and just so plane fantastic the MP's didn't quite get the same memo! Within minuets the Speaker had waved up at the kids, and then Jeremy Corbyn did too! But being such wonderful students, they sat there true to their word and didn't wave back!!

In the chamber they were discussing the sexual abuse of women in the workplace. As you can see from the Times clipping, some people wondered how on earth the young students would understand all this. But it was easy. when one asked me what they were talking about, I simply said 'we're trying to stop women being bullied'. Every student understands that, and I sat there answering some amazing questions for 45 minutes before taking them out onto the terrace to talk some more.

The students all had stories about how the cuts have affected their lives, learning, and education. They are the most powerful advocates I know, and I was proud to represent some of them in parliament and I promised them, very sincerely, that I will try my hardest to give them a voice in parliament even though Brexit is making it harder and harder for voices like this to be heard.

Thanks to Save Our Schools for organising this visit. Not only was it powerful and motivating to hear from young people, it was also inspiration too.

Right, I'm off for a little sleep....select committee starts first thing tomorrow, err, I mean today!! Yours, Peter

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