General Election 2024: Labour's Bridget Phillipson talks free school meals, funding and more on visit to Hartlepool

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Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary paid a trip to Hartlepool to speak to residents about the party’s plans to improve education in the area.

Bridget Phillipson made the trip to Hartlepool on May 29 to speak to members of the public about the plans the Labour Party has for improving education in the town.

Speaking about Hartlepool’s education system, the town’s Labour parliamentary candidate Jonathan Brash said: “Our brilliant school and college staff in Hartlepool are doing an incredible job educating our young people.

"What they need now is a government who has their back.

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Shadow Secretary of State for Education Bridget Phillipson and Labour parliamentary candidate for Hartlepool Jonathan Brash go canvassing in Hart, Hartlepool, to speak to members of the public about the plans the Labour Party has for improving education in the town.Shadow Secretary of State for Education Bridget Phillipson and Labour parliamentary candidate for Hartlepool Jonathan Brash go canvassing in Hart, Hartlepool, to speak to members of the public about the plans the Labour Party has for improving education in the town.
Shadow Secretary of State for Education Bridget Phillipson and Labour parliamentary candidate for Hartlepool Jonathan Brash go canvassing in Hart, Hartlepool, to speak to members of the public about the plans the Labour Party has for improving education in the town.

"That means recruiting and retaining more teachers, broadening our curriculum, ensuring more support for special educational needs and reforming Ofsted.

"Fundamentally, it's about having a government that is on the side of pupils, schools and colleges."

Mrs Phillipson said that Labour is committed to putting more funding into the education system, introducing free school meals in all primary schools, free breakfast clubs for all primary school pupils and more training for adults across a range of sectors.

Labour also plans to introduce 6,500 more nurses into the NHS and introduce more apprenticeship opportunities.

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Hartlepool MP Jill Mortimer speaks out about the improvements the Conservative Party are planning on making to Hartlepool's education sector if they win the next general election.Hartlepool MP Jill Mortimer speaks out about the improvements the Conservative Party are planning on making to Hartlepool's education sector if they win the next general election.
Hartlepool MP Jill Mortimer speaks out about the improvements the Conservative Party are planning on making to Hartlepool's education sector if they win the next general election.

Mrs Phillipson said: “Since 2010, Hartlepool has seen a drop of a third in apprenticeships.

"People are being denied the chance to have a brilliant life and career.”

Mr Brash and Ms Phillipson said “it is harder and harder to deliver quality education that young people deserve,” as “teachers here in Hartlepool are doing the work but they are being let down by Westminster.”

The Conservative’s candidate for Hartlepool Jill Mortimer, noted that since they came to power in the town, more than £80 million has been given to schools and 90% of all schools and colleges are now rated good or outstanding.

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Construction has also already begun on two new skills training academies and Mrs Mortimer plans to introduce 100,000 new apprenticeships each year.

Mrs Mortimer, said: “Unsurprisingly, the Labour candidate has failed to mention that to afford new teachers, Labour plans to introduce a new tax onto private schools."

She continued: “Although there are no private schools in Hartlepool, many of these schools will be forced to close putting massive pressure onto the existing state system.

“Some parents have saved their whole lives to send their children to a school of their choosing.

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"With higher taxes, less parents will be able to afford this option.

"This will result in more children attending state schools, larger classes, and less funding per pupil.

“When the Labour candidate claimed ‘the fight to save the hospital was over’ we did not give up.

"We were able to secure £13 million towards futureproofing Hartlepool hospital and I continue to fight for our hospital to become a Centre of Excellence for elective care.”

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Hartlepool was a Labour strong-hold for 57 years before the Conservative Party came to power in 2021 following a by-election.

Mrs Mortimer said: “Labour does not mean change for Hartlepool.

"There has never been as much funding, growth or new job opportunities as the last three years.”

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