The recent shock report contained in the East London Advertiser that the Bethnal Green and Bow constituency has the highest number of people without formal qualifications in the country, is yet a further indictment of this government’s two-tier education policies. Instead of improving access to education for poorer communities, the government is restricting it. They have slashed the education maintenance allowance, increased tuition fees, made re-training more difficult and replaced financial support for adult learners with prohibitive loans.
As Mayor I have tried to mitigate the impact of these measures by introducing a replacement scheme for the axed Educational Maintenance Allowance; the Mayor’s Education Allowance. I am also planning to put £1.26 million towards the Mayor’s University Grant that will provide bursaries to 400 young people to help with the burden of university costs that has been thrust upon them by Messrs Cameron and Clegg.
Government education policy is now failing the poorest communities. In particular it is failing our people in Bethnal Green. It is surely high time that Bethnal Green & Bow MP, Rushanara Ali, demanded time in the House of Commons and challenged Government Ministers on their abysmal record.