Advertiser letters: School budgets and Violence Reduction Unit
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Letters, contributions and comments sent in to the Advertiser this week.
Schools face cuts of £25m
Mayor John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets; Cllr Danny Hassell, Tower Hamlets Council cabinet member for children, schools and young people; Alex Kenny, executive member, National Union of Teachers (Inner London); Susan Ward, National Association of Headteachers; Lorraine Flanagan, chairman, Tower Hamlets Headteachers’ Consultative Group and Jill Baker, chairman, Tower Hamlets Secondary Consultative Group, write:
Schools in London have transformed over the past two decades. This was no accident but as a result of sustained investment.
Their success story cannot be taken for granted. With Brexit looming one of the capital’s greatest assets is its diverse and well educated pool of talent.
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Nationally £2.8 billion has been cut from school budgets since 2015 and new figures show the National Funding Formula will cut £25million from schools in Tower Hamlets.
A National Education Union survey showed headteachers are already having to cut teachers and support staff.
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The government needs to pay attention and can do better. Our children deserve better.
New anti-violence crime unit
Unmesh Desai, London Assembly Member for City & East, writes:
I welcome plans for a new Violence Reduction Unit at City Hall, particularly as we’ve seen something of this kind have real results in Glasgow.
This is a positive step forward which builds upon the stringent action the Mayor of London has already taken to clamp down on violent crime.
We need to tackle the many complex causes of violent crime, such as poverty and social alienation. A public health approach, in which we bring together specialists in health, the police, and local government will, gradually, help us to do just that.
There is no escaping the fact that the government’s ruthless and sustained austerity measures have contributed to a rise in crime, whether through their closure of vital youth services across London or their deep cuts to the police budget.
With the rising levels of inequality that blight our communities, the mayor is right to concede that this fresh approach will see positive results over time, but it will not change things overnight.
It is clear that the government now need to put ideology aside and work productively with Mayor Khan to prevent more tragedies from taking place on our streets.