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Press Cycle 24: Parental Involvement in Schools
#1
What do you think of the Government's proposed bill to increase Parental Involvement in schools?

Cycle closes at 23:59 on the 3rd of November.
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#2
As a teacher and a mother, I strongly believe in having the broadest and deepest parental involvement we can. Parents have the drive and energy to do right by their children and they deserve our full support. It's so important that they get the flexibility and breathing space they need to do so. What we're seeing the government do, though, is create more rules and regulations that could very well narrow down parental involvement and bog it down in red tape. It's a parental microquango for every school, complete with a constitution, regulations to follow and rules to observe. It shouldn't be about that, and it doesn't have to be. We can give parents recourse to Ofsted by amending the Parents' Charter to give them the right to petition Ofsted to do so. And we'll be moving full steam ahead by presenting alternatives in short order to involve as many parents as possible, as deeply as possible.
Emily Greenwood MP | Labour MP for Workington (1992-present)
Shadow SoS for Education and Employment, Health and Social Security (1994-present)
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#3
As usual the government is displaying noble intentions but absolutely no competence in executing these intentions. We saw it with their budget, we saw it with the Enterprise Bank and now we see it with this parental involvement bill.

The bill does very little to allow parents to participate in their children's' schooling, but does a lot in increasing costs with expensive, top down reorganisations of the state system with very little practical effect. What is worse is the government looks like it hopes to pass the buck onto parents for the 'privilege' of being represented by giving these microquangos the ability to slap charges onto parents - hurting and disenfranchising the poorest parents the most in the process. Parental involvement is a goal that is laudable and we can all work towards, cross party. But the government must go back to the drawing board and think of simpler, more effective and fairer ways to reach that goal.
Labour - Liverpool Riverside.
Shadow Chancellor
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#4
The government has consistently told the press that Labour should not talk about any inquiries or representation for Overseas Territory and should focus on other matters. The problem is, we have and it is the government that has not. It is clear education is a side issue for them worth no airtime. They haven't responded to our concerns over Parents Councils once in Parliament or the press - instead spending their time asking the Leader of the Opposition, who is not in government, questions about Overseas Territories or talking about other issues.
Labour - Liverpool Riverside.
Shadow Chancellor
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#5
It is absoutely right that parents are involved in a child’s education and the Government’s bill puts parental involvement front and centre. This bill means that legally education authorities would be mandated to have parents at the forefront of education. it is this government that is taking action whilst the Liberal Democrats are too busy with the latest conspiracy theory as well as Labour. 
Sir Harold Saxon MP

Acting Prime Minister

Chancellor of the Exchequer (1994 - )
MP for Aylesbury
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#6
I can't believe the arrogance displayed by the Prime Minister. Myself and my colleagues have raised substantial questions on the subject of the bill. If he wants to show how important parents and their issues are to him, let him tell the Education Secretary to show up and answer! If not, I think we can conclude that they have not thought thoroughly enough about this bill.
Emily Greenwood MP | Labour MP for Workington (1992-present)
Shadow SoS for Education and Employment, Health and Social Security (1994-present)
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#7
If the attention and defence this bill is getting from the government shows their commitment to a better society, then we are all in serious trouble. Schools are crumbling, classrooms are crowded. We need more teachers and higher standards. If this is the great Tory education plan, they ought to at least show up for the debate. Instead it’s the same ol Tories stonewalling and not attending to matters in the House.
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#8
The irony behind the Leader of the Opposition’s attempted rallying cry of, “Schools are crumbling, classrooms are crowded. We need more teachers and higher standards” is that Labour took no additional steps to tackle any of these issues in their last shadow budget. Talking about these issues does matter, but the reality remains that the opposition criticise when it suits them politically, without actually tackling issues when they become ‘apparent’.
Dr Lucy Robert
MP for Canterbury
Chancellor of the Exchequer
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#9
It is absolutely wrong to state that the Parental Involvement Act will massively “increase costs with expensive… reorganisation”. As answers to questions about this in the House show, the total maximum sum is expected to be barely over £1mn a year. I will give the Shadow Chancellor the benefit of the doubt on this - expected cost figures had not been finalised for public release by the Civil Service at her time of speaking - but this does not detract from the evident guessing game the Opposition are playing. They oppose measures not on merit, and don’t wait for the facts before they speak.
Dr Lucy Robert
MP for Canterbury
Chancellor of the Exchequer
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#10
The concept that this bill 'disenfranchises' parents from lower incomes evidences the tribalism that Labour have readopted. Under no provision of the bill would parent councils be able to ‘bill’ other parents, whilst the entire defined functions of the councils are paid for in full by the government. It is not, as claimed, “hurting” the poorest, but is instead giving all parents the right to be more closely involved in their child’s education. This is at no stage a wealth based issue. That Labour are pushing this line is wrong, and only drives division into society.
Dr Lucy Robert
MP for Canterbury
Chancellor of the Exchequer
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