Entry: "Extra Government money for Tower Hamlets Schools - welcomed by Oona King MP"

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Oona King MP today welcomed the massive cash boost for education in Tower Hamlets.

Oona King MP said:
‘Today's recognition by the government of the challenges faced by Tower Hamlets schools is extremely welcome, especially because the new spending will be directed to raising aspirations and delivering a higher standard of education for all children in Tower Hamlets, not just a few. The new money is good news not just because it will mean pupils from Tower Hamlets will be stretched to achieve at their full potential but also because the extra funding is crucial to tackle the huge challenges of teaching in Tower Hamlets, including the problems in recruiting and retaining teaching staff.’

Particular challenges in Tower Hamlets emerge from many pupils having English as a second language and problems facing refugees and children from very deprived backgrounds.

Following today’s Government announcement the spending per pupil will have risen from £2,700 in 1997 to £4,500 by 2005-6 - a 50% rise.

Oona King adds:
‘Another widely acknowledged problem acting as a barrier to high education standards is the shortage of affordable housing. Many schools are put under strain when teachers are forced to move when they decide to buy their own homes because their salaries will not stretch to the cost of property near their schools. I’ve been working behind the scenes through my work on the Parliamentary Select Committee to address this urgent issue.’