Steve McCabe, MP for Birmingham Selly Oak, called for more help for vulnerable children in our education system during the Queen’s Speech debate.
To watch Steve’s full speech click here
The Birmingham MP reminded the Government that many schools in Birmingham already have or are heading for deficit budgets. He raised particular concerns about children who require access to Education, Health and Care Plans which are too often delayed due to funding issues as well as the growing number of children who require access to school transport and speech and language therapy. The MP urged that funding for children with Special Needs be ring-fenced to protect the most vulnerable children and help them thrive.
Speaking on education, he said:
“I welcome any promise to raise spending but I’ll remind ministers that many schools in Birmingham are already facing deficit budgets. Raising pupil spending per head is welcome but unless additional adjustments are made to recognise disadvantage, per capita increases may only serve to cement that disadvantage”
During the debate Mr McCabe also shared his concerns about elderly people who cannot afford adequate care and the lack of Government intervention on this issue. He criticised the disparity in the provision of Home Care and Home Support services.
He argued that new obligations, on public services, to reduce crime, would fail unless those agencies were given resources commensurate with any new obligations.
Mr McCabe also said that Labour needed to accept its election defeat and be constructive in opposition and he promised to back the Government when they do the right thing, as they have done in Northern Ireland, but he warned the Education Secretary, who adopted quite a confrontational style in his opening address, that Government’s also needed to show some humility.