Friday 15 January 2021 / 1:23 PM Kate Green

Labour to force vote on support for families during lockdown school and college closures

Labour to force vote on support for families during lockdown school and college closures

 

Labour will force a vote in the House of Commons on Monday demanding that the Government deliver more support for families while schools and colleges are closed to most pupils. Labour is demanding the Government guarantee that children will receive the full value of free school meals support including in the school holidays, and set a date by which every pupil will have the equipment needed to learn remotely.

 

Yesterday the Government said that children will not receive Free School Meals over February half-term despite previously being shamed into providing them over the Christmas holidays. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has claimed that other funding could be used for half-term, despite conditions on this fund stating should not replace Free School Meals.

 

This follows the revelation from Labour that the Government’s recommended food parcel is near identical to the images circulating on social media which the Prime Minister has described as “an insult to the families receiving them.”

 

Labour is also demanding that Education Secretary Gavin Williamson set a date by when all pupils will have the laptops and internet access needed to learn remotely. The Government have previously missed their own deadlines for delivering access to remote learning, and there are still 600,000 promised laptops and tablets yet to be delivered to pupils. Until the Government delivers these resources thousands of students are unable to learn remotely during lockdown, causing them to fall behind their peers.

 

Kate Green MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Education, said:

“The Government’s failure to control the spread of the pandemic is putting intolerable strain on families in lockdown.

 

“Parents are desperately trying to do their best for their children, stopping them from going hungry and keeping them learning, but ten months into this pandemic the Government has still not provided the support these families need.

 

“Ensuring that all children are receiving the full value of free school meals and have the equipment needed to learn remotely should be a minimum standard, which Conservative MPs will have the chance to support.”