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Giving children the best start in life

[05/02/2010 | No comment]

I think one of Labour’s proudest achievements is our investment in children’s early years. When I was Director of the Maternity Alliance, I saw the difference good quality help and support can make to parents and young children, particularly if it starts very early on in life.

We’ve now got Sure Start Children’s Centres in Beaumont Leys and Stocking Farm, Braunstone, Braunstone Frith, New Parks, Rowley Fields and the West End. These are brilliant services that help improve children’s life chances and which local parents really value.

Labour has also put much needed investment into our local schools. Leicester was one of the first places to get money from the Government’s Building Schools for the Future (BSF) fund. £235m is being spent on rebuilding and transforming every secondary school in the city. The first two schools to benefit from BSF in Leicester West are Fullhurst College and the award winning school at Beaumont Leys. We’re starting to see a real difference in school results too: last year Leicester’s GCSE results improved faster than the national average.

But there’s still a long way to go. Leicester is 129th out of 151 local authorities in terms of GCSE results, and this isn’t good enough. That’s why I’m pressing for faster improvements in our schools. I’ll work with parents, teachers, councillors and the Government to make sure all parents in Leicester West have the choice to send their children to a good, local school.

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