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    Created by Jenny Cooper
  • Remove blanket ban on toilet breaks for children at Wroughton Academy
    We, the parents of children attending Wroughton Academy, need to show solidarity for the immediate reconsideration / update of policy that should already be common sense. Having researched the subject, it appears that schools do, in fact, have the ability to introduce policy to prevent children using the bathroom during lessons. This doesn’t mean that they HAVE to, or that it NEEDS to be a blanket ban. I would challenge the teachers to have some empathy and put themselves in the children’s shoes. How would they feel if someone denied them access to the bathroom if they were caught short? We’ve all been there, at some point or another, and this is as adults who are very used to dealing with bodily functions. Unfortunately the body doesn’t always do precisely as we wish it would, so how can this be demanded of children. I thought that we were passed the dictatorship days of classrooms gone by, but apparently we are not. Under no circumstances am I condoning the abuse, or misuse of this proposed change, but if a child is a “repeat offender” or it is suspected that they are just being disruptive, the matter can be brought up with the parents on an individual basis. The recent change in how the children enter the school in the morning has been touted as a way to give the children more independence / agency over their actions. I propose that this independence/ agency is also extended to unplanned bathroom breaks.
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    Created by James Goldsmith
  • Let ALL parents access free childcare
    Many parents of 3 and 4-year-olds get 30 hours of free childcare from the Government, which is vital support when the average nursery place is an unaffordable £14,000 per year. But thousands of children are locked out of most of this support right now - forcing parents to give up work, denying children vital opportunities to develop and pushing families into poverty - all because of their parents’ immigration status. Even if children are British citizens, they are still locked out - it’s completely unfair. This Government are stopping parents from standing on their own two feet by depriving them of access to vital services, leaving families struggling even more during the cost-of-living crisis. Every child, no matter their race, class or immigration status, has the right to a fair start in life. Yasmin’s story - Yasmin’s first-born son didn’t get the chance to go to nursery because of nothing more than the fine print on her visa. The Government’s exclusionary rules locked Yasmin and her son out of this support. However, her daughter did get the chance because by the time she was old enough, Yasmin could benefit from government support with the costs. The impacts on her son have been long-lasting. His teachers have told Yasmin how he struggles more to make friends and interact with his peers than her daughter because he was robbed of this vital early years support. No child should be deprived of opportunities that are so important to their start in life, and no family should be forced into poverty because of government action.
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    Created by Ella Abraham
  • Start taxing private schools
    Private schools are classed as charities despite being run as businesses. Schools like Eton - who charge an eye-watering £45k fee - can get tax breaks of up to 80%. But Labour have promised to scrap these and use the funds to improve state schools instead of boosting private profits. If Labour were to get into Government at the next election, they would tax private schools as businesses. It would be the first step in levelling the playing field and ensuring that no matter what your background, you get the same start. But already opposition is mounting from these schools and the elites that support them. A huge petition to all political parties showing them how popular the plans are could stop them listening to the private schools and pledge to end the tax breaks.
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    Created by Campaigns by you
  • Sign the Horizon Deal and save science
    We need to ensure the deal - which is ready to go - gets signed. Horizon allows scientists to work on protecting bees and build upon work from the Covid vaccine to protect us from future health emergencies. If we want a better future, this type of research is vital. 15 Nobel Prize winners and scientists across the UK are asking the Prime Minister to sign the deal. If he rejects it, that compromises the future of science in Britain. That’s why we need to put pressure on Rishi Sunak to put pen to paper.
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  • Breaking Down Barriers: Ensuring Education for All Young People.
    According to research, young people with additional needs are significantly more likely to experience barriers to accessing education. In fact, a study by the National Autistic Society found that 63% of children with autism are not in the kind of school that their parents believe would best support them. Schools and other educational institutions need to be designed and equipped to provide an inclusive environment for all students. For example, schools can ensure that classrooms are accessible to students with physical disabilities, and that teaching materials are presented in a way that is accessible to students with learning difficulties. In addition, there needs to be greater support for teachers and other education professionals to ensure that they have the training and resources they need to support young people with additional needs. This can include providing training on how to work with students with specific needs, and ensuring that teachers have access to appropriate resources and materials. There also needs to be greater awareness and understanding of the needs of young people with additional needs within society as a whole. This means challenging stereotypes and promoting positive attitudes towards people with additional needs. For example, campaigns can be launched to raise awareness of the challenges faced by young people with additional needs, and to promote the benefits of inclusion. Finally, there needs to be greater investment in education for young people with additional needs. This includes investing in appropriate resources and facilities, and ensuring that funding is available to support the needs of these young people. By investing in education for young people with additional needs, we can help to ensure that they are not deprived of an education, and that they have the opportunity to reach their full potential. It is important to address the issue of inclusion within the education system, as young people with additional needs are often deprived of an education due to a lack of resources and support. By promoting inclusion, we can help to ensure that all young people have access to the education they need to reach their full potential. People should join our campaign because it is an opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of young people with additional needs. By working together, we can raise awareness of the challenges faced by these young people, and promote positive attitudes towards inclusion. We can also lobby for greater investment in education for young people with additional needs, and work to ensure that schools and other educational institutions are designed and equipped to provide an inclusive environment for all students. Joining our campaign is an opportunity to be part of a movement for change, and to make a positive impact on the lives of young people with additional needs. By working together, we can help to create a more inclusive education system, and a brighter future for all young people.
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    Created by Roismi Rajakumar-Mangrove.
  • Stop Leeds Conservatoire’s proposed staff restructure
    The proposed staff restructure would drastically impair the world-class educational experience currently provided by Leeds Conservatoire thanks to the personalized academic structure and expert leadership. As a student body, we are aware that you are currently exploring various options to tackle the increasing strain upon the conservatoire’s finances. We understand that the scale of the current pressure is not something to be taken lightly and that action must happen. However, we are aware that one option being explored involves serious staff restructuring within the conservatoire. We have seen that there will be nine jobs at risk of redundancy across both schools; this will massively impair the educational experience of the students of all pathways. The prospect of the programme leader and curriculum manager being made redundant for the jazz would be greatly concerning for the future of our education at Leeds Conservatoire. This same concern goes for all other at-risk pathways. Not only do these course leaders set and manage the well-designed curriculums, but they also offer educational and professional guidance whilst remaining approachable and visible members of staff. We are concerned about how the personalized education currently offered at Leeds Conservatoire would be maintained under this staff restructure. While a ‘Head of Music and Education’ may be able to manage the admin work of the jazz, classical, film, and junior courses, they will not be able to provide the same curriculum level and quality for the individual pathways, and will not be available to provide educational help and guidance to students. This will undoubtedly lead to less competitive degrees compared to other institutions, decreasing our future employability. We are also concerned about the lack of detail currently being shared with students. Whilst we acknowledge that the finances and business of the conservatoire are private and complex, we feel that proposed changes of this magnitude should involve student voices — as ultimately it is us, the students, that will be the most affected. Section 4 of our 2022/23 Terms and Conditions states that ‘where a change is more significant, student consultation will take place before any changes are made that will impact current students.’ As a cross-pathway student body, we do not believe that this is currently being upheld. We understand that the issues you are facing are not simple or easy, but we feel that restructuring the staff in the currently proposed way would negatively affect all students at Leeds Conservatoire and hinder its largest selling point that helps it to be a world-class college and that other options need to be explored with the inclusion of the student voice in an open dialogue. We want to understand why this action is necessary, what will be done to mitigate any effect on our education, and why other options open to the institution are not viable.
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    Created by Thomas Houghton
  • Petition to make school uniform affordable
    School uniform in our local area costs anywhere from £100-£200. This is highly unreasonable, especially considering the current cost of living crisis. Many families are struggling to fund their child's uniform as most schools have strict policies on jumpers, blazers, bags and PE kits which makes it difficult to accumulate for as each item of clothing is expensive. To solve this problem, my group has come up with an idea to help families who need support. This involves encouraging students who have outgrown/no longer need their uniform to donate it to their school which will go towards the new year 7s and any other years who need it. Another way to help ease the stress of uniform costs would be to simply lower the price tag. Around £30 for a school jumper is outrageous when you could buy a similar one from a clothing shop for a lot cheaper. Many families are already struggling in the current cost of living crisis and school uniform prices are only adding more stress. It is important to help this problem because people shouldn't have to worry about whether they can afford their child to have clothing or not. The government website also states that it is important for schools to have a way for their school uniform to be available to everyone. Things need to change.
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    Created by diana diac
  • Education support workers need a pay rise
    School support staff have suffered more than a decade of pay cuts and are some of the most undervalued workers in society. Added to this, support staff at Ash Field Academy have been significantly underpaid when compared with comparable roles in LA maintained schools. They need a pay rise at least in line with inflation.
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    Created by Tom Barker
  • Stop the new vehicle entrance opposite Chestnuts School into the St Ann's Development
    If the vehicle entrance goes ahead, it will be meters from the very youngest children at Chestnuts school, leading to increased pollution and disruption to them every day, as they play in their playground, as well as an even busier road to cross on the way to and from school. Despite deputations from children, parents and governors from the school to the council, the plans for the vehicle entrance were still signed off. The school was not consulted properly on the plans, which, as a major stakeholder, they should have been. A vehicle entrance in this position poses a serious risk on an already busy road to child safety and health. The creation of a new vehicle entrance here is in direct opposition to Haringey council's Climate Change Action plan, which 'targets a borough-wide reduction on carbon emissions which will improve living standards for all residents'. In addition, the planned vehicle entrance is in the same location as a planned zebra crossing which has now been put off indefinitely, after years of being promised by the council to make a particularly treacherous crossing safer. There is already a vehicle entrance into the development that can be used for vehicle access, a second one is not needed.
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    Created by Chloe Straw
  • Bring Our Bees Back
    The Bee Team has been an important part of Heron Hill school for many years. Please sign this in support of the wonderful work they do in the hope that something can be done.
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    Created by Corrin Mason
  • Save Midlothian Music Tuition 2023
    This cut contradicts the Scottish Government Manifesto commitments concerning instrumental music tuition, which have cross-party support in the Scottish Parliament. The Policy Commitment The SNP Manifesto 2021, 'Scotland's Future' set out the SNP policy commitments for the current Parliamentary session. In relation to music and arts education, it undertook to: abolish fees for music and arts education, including instrumental music tuition in schools; mainstream music as a core subject in Scotland's education system; and ensure Scotland's school-based instrumental music teachers receive GTCS registration and accreditation. The Scottish Government commitment to abolish instrumental music tuition fees is part of a wider policy objective to remove cost barriers to education. The SNP Manifesto clearly articulates this policy, stating: 'No pupil should struggle to learn because of poverty. We know that some families are sacrificing essentials like heating, food and rent payments so that their children can participate fully at school – this is unacceptable. The barriers to education must be removed.' It then provides specific comments on 'Curriculum Charges', making the following commitment: 'To ensure equal access to the whole curriculum, we will remove core curriculum charges for all pupils. This will enable children to take the subjects they want without families having to struggle to meet costs of resources and materials for practical lessons.' The Gulf between Policy and Practice Despite these laudable policy ambitions, which seek to ensure equitable access to instrumental music tuition for all children and young people, the reality is different in practice. Midlothian Council proposes to withdraw its funding of the Instrumental Music Service - to the tune of £440,000 - and rely solely on the funding provided by the Scottish Government. On 4th October 2022, the Scottish Government issued a letter to the Directors of Finance and Heads of Instrumental Music Tuition, providing advice concerning the allocation of funding in respect of instrumental music tuition in schools. The letter refers to the Manifesto commitments and provides 'further advice and confirmation of what the commitment on abolishing fees means in practice for local authorities and schools, and how the funding can be managed to meet this commitment'. It refers to the increase in funding provided to local authorities and goes on to provide that 'Scottish Ministers expect that the uplift in funding should be spent on an enhancement of instrumental music tuition services, including activity in this academic year which could support further enhancement in later years.' (emphasis added). The advice then goes on to provide examples of how the funding can be used. All examples given refer to additionality both in terms of staff and resources. It is clear from this letter that this additional funding alone is not designed to fund the provision of instrumental music tuition fully but rather to supplement the existing funding which Local Authorities have previously allocated to Instrumental Music Services. This has not been recognised in the approach being adopted in the draft budget proposals by Midlothian Council. The Impact on Children, Young People, Instrumental Music Services and the Community As there will be no younger pupils feeding through to Secondary and ultimately to the senior phase, it will be nigh on impossible to get pupils, who have only started to learn an instrument at Secondary School, to SQA standard or, indeed, any suitable standard in the given time which enables them to take a meaningful part in School, Authority or Community musical activities. Due to fewer or no younger pupils with any experience of learning an instrument coming through to Senior level and only a few of those studying for a National qualification e.g. Nat 5, Higher, Advanced Higher likely, but not guaranteed, to receive any tuition through the Instrumental Music Service, Music as a subject in Midlothian is likely to be reduced in size or downgraded. The aim for equity of opportunity and experience enshrined in the Government manifesto will be lost to Midlothian pupils. The same issues of equity of access which were highlighted when Local Authorities charged for lessons will arise again. Only those pupils who can afford to pay for private instrumental music tuition will be in a position to take qualifications in Music or play in bands and ensembles. Children and young people from socio-economically deprived areas will not have this opportunity or the opportunity for rich engagement with Music to enhance achievement or health and wellbeing. This is contrary to the policy intent of the Manifesto commitments.
    431 of 500 Signatures
    Created by Scott Whitefield