The Guardian reports that the shadow education secretary, Angela Rayner, will pledge to reverse £500m cuts in funding for Sure Start centres, in her Labour conference speech, which will draw on her experiences as a teenage single mother.
Rayner will promise a ringfenced grant from the Department for Education of an additional £500m a year for the children’s centres and early intervention services, as well as outlining Labour’s plans for a national education service promised in the party’s manifesto.
The £500m pledge is based on new Labour analysis of DfE spending figures, which suggests £437m has been cut from Sure Start funding since 2012. One in three children’s centres have been lost since 2010 with at least two local authorities, Swindon and Solihull, reporting they no longer have any designated Sure Start centres.
Speaking in the conference hall in Brighton on Tuesday, Rayner will unveil a 10-point charter for a cradle-to-grave education system, promising it will be “free at the point of use, available universally and throughout life”.
The charter sets out plans for democratic oversight of schools and colleges, as well as emotional and academic support for staff and learners. Plans include a boost to adult education, pre-school and skills training.
“Our national education service will be lifelong, providing for people at every stage of their life,” Rayner will say. “That is our national education service. Not just another structure. Not another new sign on the school gate. A promise from a Labour government to the British people.
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