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Part of Debate on the Address – in the House of Commons at 12:12 pm on 16th October 2019.

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Photo of Angela Rayner Angela Rayner Shadow Secretary of State for Education 12:12 pm, 16th October 2019

I absolutely agree with the hon. Lady, who has a wealth of knowledge from being an educator. She has also been an advocate for ensuring that, rather than hoodwinking teachers and parents across England, we actually support them by stopping this decimation of our education system so that we do not have newly qualified teachers pitched against experienced teachers.

What we want to see in our education system is a wealth of newly qualified and experienced teachers in our classrooms, because we know that is best for our classrooms and for all children. We will radically expand high-quality early years education so that it is available for all two, three and four-year-olds alongside a renewed Sure Start Plus.

We will give our schools the investment they need, fully reversing the cuts that the Tories have imposed. We will end the managed decline of further education by investing in students and staff so that a genuinely high-quality technical education route is available to all those who wish to pursue it. And we will scrap tuition fees and bring back maintenance grants. Free education for all throughout their life—that is the prospect the Government would have us believe is so terrifying.

Finally, I pay tribute to all those amazing staff who work day in, day out to improve children’s lives. In particular, I mention my friend and constituent Lynn Stott, who was a youth worker for many years. She is gravely ill today, and I cannot be there because I am here at the Dispatch Box. I know what a difference she has made in our community, and the difference that all our educators make every day to the lives of our children.

This Queen’s Speech is the last gasp of a Government with nothing left to give. A Labour Government will do so much more.