Search

‘Keep schools open in summer holidays’ MPs urged by Futureversity youth charity

PUBLISHED: 07:00 03 March 2017

MP Rushanara Ali, founder and Patron of Futureversirty youth education charity [picture: Carmen Valino]

MP Rushanara Ali, founder and Patron of Futureversirty youth education charity [picture: Carmen Valino]

Carmen Valino/Futureversity

Policy makers must do more to help children in deprived areas whose education suffers during the 170 days a year when the school gates are closed.

This is the call to MPs in the Futureversity youth charity’s Summer Vacation report launched in the House of Commons by Bethnal Green and Bow MP Rushanara Ali.

“This report shows the importance of providing opportunities during the school holidays,” she told fellow MPs at the launch. “Helping to raise their aspirations can tackle disadvantage and promote social mobility.”

Rushanara founded the youth charity in Spitalfields, in the heart of her constituency in London’s deprived East End where many children from deprived families regress during the long “empty summer holidays” due to poverty.

Families worrying about money, where the next meal is coming from or facing sheer social isolation have a bad effect on youngsters in the summer months, the Futureversity charity has found.

Its chief executive Michele McKendry pledged: “We aim to eliminate the childhood of empty summers.

“Schools should keep the doors open and provide structured fun learning which ultimately leads to better GCSE grades and daring to believe they can achieve more.”

The organisation had 300 teenagers referred to them from 10 state schools last year alone, in Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Islington, Waltham Forest and Lambeth.

Half the youths joined the Vacation Education programme for 13-to-16 year-olds, whom were mainly from difficult homes and had behaviour and motivation problems.

They attend two days a week over the summer, when 3,000 breakfasts and lunches were provided, with 20 volunteer ‘peer motivators’ and 220 business volunteers gave them an insight into different working environments.

This made it easier to settle back into school when the new term began in September, taking more responsibility for themselves and being more motivated.

The negative effects of “empty summers” have a lasting impact on learning, the charity warns.

Teenagers go ‘backwards’ during the long holidays if they have little stimulus, when parents can’t afford activities to help broaden their horizons.

Futureversity’s summer programme offered business, art and fashion, sport, digital media and photography and performing arts.

Most youngsters in the programme said they would have spent the summer ‘lying in bed’ if they had not been taking part.

Latest East London News Stories

Yesterday, 08:00

Letters, contributions and comments sent in to the Advertiser this week.

Reports of the recent rise of violent crime in London have been deeply concerning.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

This year’s Virgin Money London Marathon follows the usual route from Greenwich Park to the Mall.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

High achievers from London and Essex were rewarded for their hard work with a lesson in rowing on the Royal Docks yesterday.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend? Watch our three-minute Met Office video forecast.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Richard Horwood is hoping the open election meeting he is chairing on Tuesday for candidates running for Tower Hamlets mayor doesn’t turn into a disaster where they can’t answer questions about the vital Isle of Dogs’ upcoming Neighbourhood Plan.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Two teenage girls who have been missing from a seaside village for a week could be in Tower Hamlets, police believe.

Friday, April 20, 2018

A four-day festival of baul and vaishnav music returns to Tower Hamlets.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now