Please find below a summary of my activities for the week
On Monday, I will be attempting to ask a question to Amber Rudd during Department for Work and Pensions questions. The topic of my question will concern the location of Assessment Centres for Universal Credit. Whatever your opinion of Universal Credit, we can all agree that anyone who I asked to go for an assessment at one of their centres should not lose out on the benefit because they physically could not make it to the assessment centre. I have had a number of constituents contact me to let me know that they have had issues accessing the assessment centres because they are unable to reach the location. This is completely unfair and I will be asking the Secretary of State to review the accessibility of these centres.
I will also be holding a catch up meeting with Endometriosis UK, we have secured the date for the hand in of the petition for menstrual wellbeing to be taught in school. This will happen on the 5th March 2019.
On Tuesday, the Education Select Committee will be holding a further session into Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and, in particular in this session, how cash strapped local authorities are struggling to meet their statutory duties to children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.
Later in the day, I will be chairing a meeting between MPs and the National Education Union (NEU) where we will discuss their campaign against school cuts. Nationwide, schools have lost £3 billion in funding since 2010 and Hull has been particularly badly affected by schools cuts as we have a £5 million deficit in our high needs education budget and each school in Hull West and Hessle has lost an average of just over £130,000.
I will also be speaking in a debate in support of young carers. Young carers do amazing work and often take responsibilities that stretch well beyond those usually expected of young people their age. Being a carer takes its toll on a young persons education, physical health and emotional wellbeing and I will be calling on the government to do more to support them to live normal childhoods.
On Wednesday, I will be meeting with the Worth Less campaign to discuss how to promote better funding for schools, improving teacher retention and boosting social mobility. Later in the day, I will be speaking in a debate on Alternative Provision in Primary Schools.
On Thursday, Theresa May will be making a statement to the House of Commons about her efforts to renegotiate the EU Withdrawal Agreement. The statement will then be followed by a debate on an amendable motion. We are not yet clear as to what the exact amendments will be at the moment and I envisage releasing a statement closer to the time about how I will be voting on each of them. I would just say, at this moment in time, that Jeremy Corbyn’s letter to the Prime Minister has set out a comprehensive way for her to gain Labour’s support on the agreement, one that is realistic, has been welcomed by the EU and demonstrates the only path currently available to help respect and deliver the result of the referendum. I sincerely hope that the Prime Minister works in a constructive manner with us to make this happen.
On Friday, I will be chairing a suicide prevention roundtable meeting to hold discussions with key stakeholders about how we can address the increasing number of suicides in our local area. My other meetings for the day will include the Hessle Heritage Centre, the Parent Carer Forum and a visit to the knife angel.