Emma Hardy MP has today questioned Tory Schools Minister, Nick Gibb why schools in deprived areas are suffering when some Multi Academy Trusts (MAT) CEOs receive over £150,000 a year to run trusts.
Speaking in the Education Select Committee in Parliament today, Emma also questioned the Minister about whether Ofsted and other school accountability measures are really working for children from more deprived areas like Hull where 1 in 3 children live in poverty.
One of the most obvious and distressing manifestations of this is that children from these households often come into school hungry or malnourished. This not only has a negative impact on the physical and mental wellbeing of those children, it also impairs learning by reducing their ability to concentrate.
Almost half of respondents to a survey by the National Education Union stated that their school directly provides one or more of a range of anti-poverty services such as a food club, a food or clothing bank, free or subsidised family meals and in a small number of cases, emergency loans to families. All of these services are suffering because of government school funding cuts.
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officers and other senior staff at some Multi Academy Trusts are receiving large yearly pay packets from tax payers money.
Commenting after the exchange, Emma said “Nobody is saying that schools cannot improve educational outcomes for disadvantaged children but to deny the role of outside factors in entrenching educational disadvantage is simply not realistic, nor is it fair. It is even harder for them to do that when taxpayers’ money- already in short supply because of this Government’s education cuts- are being taken away from schools and handed over to line the pockets of MAT CEOs and senior staff. I asked Nick Gibb today where his priorities lie and it’s clear that our priorities are very different.”
You can see Emma’s full exchange with Nick Gibb on her Youtube page.