Lib Dem Leader Ed Davey recently announced that Munira Wilson, MP for Twickenham, will now be the Liberal Democrats’ Spokesperson for Education.
Munira Wilson will champion children, young people and education – a cause more important than ever with Covid lockdowns having left many young people feeling socially isolated and struggling to catch up academically, and with their mental health adversely impacted.
Commenting on her new appointment, Munira said: “I am so excited to have been given this opportunity. Children and young people are our future and must be put front and centre of our recovery from the pandemic. I look forward to working with parents, young people and professionals to ensure that issues such as mental health, class sizes and adequate childcare provision do not get overlooked by ministers.”
Munira regularly visits schools across her Twickenham constituency. Headteachers and school governors have explained how the Government’s catch-up scheme is inadequate and has left local schools struggling to get by, relying on parental donations and fundraising for the basics. Her conversations with parents have also indicated that they and their children have suffered disproportionately as a result of extensive periods of home-schooling. Munira recently co-sponsored a Bill that would require the Children’s Commissioner to be consulted and a vote in Parliament before any future national school closures can be enacted.
Munira has challenged the Government on failing to properly support children, young people, parents and schools in the recent Budget. Commenting in Parliament, Munira said: “This Budget and Spending Review should have been a Children’s Budget, focused on their recovery from the pandemic and giving every single child in this country the opportunity to flourish and reach their full potential.”
Munira also called out the Government on the Chancellor’s announcement that catch-up funding for education would only be a third of what the Government’s own education advisor recommended.
She and the Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to commit to Sir Kevan Collins’s recommendation of £15-billion catch-up funding for education, and arguing for £5-billion of that to be put directly into the hands of parents in the form of vouchers to be spent on tutoring, extracurricular activities such as sport or music, or counselling.
Munira pledges to continue to push the Government to support children, young people and schools, wanting in particular to empower parents, as part of a continued effort to recover from the pandemic.