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Shadow Schools Minister condemns Tory inaction as South East afterschool club costs soar by over £570

Stephen Morgan MP has condemned Tory Ministers’ inaction ahead of a debate in the House of Commons today, as the cost of South East afterschool clubs has soared by £573.42 since 2010.

Nationally, the average family is spending more on afterschool clubs than on their weekly food shop.

Despite pleas from parents to prioritise children’s wellbeing, the government has left parents to struggle with steeply rising prices, leaving children at risk of missing out.

In a debate in Parliament this afternoon, the City MP will lead the Official Opposition in its push for the government to match Labour’s own recovery plan which commits to breakfast and afterschool clubs for all, supporting parents struggling to balance rising bills and prioritising children’s learning.

This echoes a trial of the extended school day by the Welsh Labour government which has seen children undertaking a range of new activities at the end of the school day, with teachers reporting this has given pupils more confidence in their day-to-day learning.

It comes as the Shadow Schools Minister recently highlighted that every secondary school pupil will have left school by the time the government delivers its promise of 100 million hours of post-covid tutoring.

During the debate, the Portsmouth MP will underline that whilst families face rising energy prices and increasing food bills, childcare costs are also soaring and putting further pressure on parents.

Despite this, government is ‘knowingly underfunding the childcare sector in England’, forcing many parents to work less or stop working altogether.

Labour has said it would tackle the costs families are facing by investing in childcare places for young children on free school meals, before and after school clubs and put money back in families’ pockets with a windfall tax on oil and gas companies to take £600 off families’ energy bills and halting the Tory’s tax rise.

This would be paid for through the money the government had already allocated for the Covid response and recovery.

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South and Shadow Schools Minister, said:

“Portsmouth’s parents are battling rising bills, yet the Conservatives have failed to take any action to tackle booming childcare price rises.

“Families in our city are paying over £570 more a year while the government faffs around and delays getting help to people who are struggling.

“Labour would be supporting parents and children right now with before and afterschool clubs for all.”

Bridget Phillipson MP, Shadow Education Secretary, also said:

“The Conservatives risk sacrificing children’s futures in their utter failure to deliver a proper recovery plan for our children’s learning and wellbeing.

“Labour has been clear for months – we would be delivering the ambitious recovery plan that children need, want and deserve, with breakfast and afterschool clubs for every child.

“As parents battle rising costs of living, soaring childcare costs make life ever harder for families. Tory inaction is leaving children to be priced out of opportunity.”