Huppert fights for better education for disadvantaged youngsters
February 21, 2012
MP Julian Huppert has struck out in Parliament for better education for youngsters from poorer families.
He wants more help for pupils in receipt of free school meals and those from black and ethnic minority backgrounds to reach their full potential.
Julian spoke out during Questions in the House of Commons yesterday (Monday, February 20) saying that the new director of the Office of Fair Access, Professor Les Ebdon had a great deal of work to do to balance improved access and high standards.
And he paid tribute to Cambridge’s three “excellent universities” saying it was a privilege to represent them.
Julian asked Business Secretary, Vince Cable: “Will my right honorable friend assure me that Professor Ebdon will get full governmental support in his role, particularly from the Department of Education, because far too many pupils, particularly those from black and ethnic minority backgrounds and those who receive free school meals, are still not given the chance to reach their full potential while they are at school?”
Dr Cable acknowledged that the problem is frequently found in schools and he said that the Lib Dem’s Pupil Premium, which provides schools with money to help youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds, will raise standards.
Later Julian said: “It is vital that we have a level playing field so that no child is disadvantaged because of his or her background.
“We must do everything we can to ensure that standards are high in our schools for every child and that every young person has a chance to access the top universities.
“Unfortunately, at the moment schools are not doing enough to encourage youngsters from black and ethnic minority backgrounds to apply for the top universities and that needs to change.”