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Zoomchat with Bridget Phillipson - Thursday 28th September 11-12

135 replies

NicolaDMumsnet · 27/09/2023 11:00

Hi all,

We’re pleased to announce a Zoomchat with Shadow Secretary of State for Education Bridget Phillipson this Thursday from 11am-12pm. You can book your place now by registering for free here.

Bridget has been the Labour MP for Houghton and Sunderland South since  2010. In April 2020 she joined the Shadow Cabinet under Keir Starmer as Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, before being appointed Shadow Education Secretary in November 2021. 

Please post your questions below ahead of the chat. Please note that we will be closing the thread on Thursday morning so please ensure you have posted your questions before then. If there is time, there may also be an opportunity to ask additional questions live.

If you join the Zoomchat, your camera will be turned off by default. Your screen name might be visible, so consider whether you’re happy to use your RL name or want to use your MN posting name or something else entirely. The Zoomchat will be recorded so you can catch up if you’re unable to attend on the day. 

Please stick to the usual guidelines - one question per user, keep it civil, and if one topic is dominating, please don't continue to post what's effectively the same question or point (we'll be deleting questions that are repeated multiple times). We'll be limited for time so do keep questions as short as possible so that we’re able to ask more of them - as always, we'll try to make sure we cover the topics that we know are important to Mumsnet users. 


Zoomchat with Bridget Phillipson - Thursday 28th September 11-12
OP posts:
chaffinch77 · 27/09/2023 11:23

Hi Bridget, it seems clear to me that many of the problems in our schools - from RAAC to lack of staff, to lack of basic stationery - are problems that can only be solved by spending more money. But the Labour Party repeatedly stress that they don't have big spending plans and Keir Starmer and Rachel Reeves keep talking about 'reform', rather than investment. How can you reform your way out of crumbling buildings or of not having enough textbooks for kids? How do you solve these problems without spending money?

selseywilhemina · 27/09/2023 12:39

when will we have more detail on what Labour will do on childcare? I was really pleased when you previously hinted at universal provision and wholesale reform but things seem to have gone pretty quiet recently...

CherryReds · 27/09/2023 12:56

whats your first priority if Labour win the next election?

TheSeether · 27/09/2023 13:11

Hi Bridget, thanks for doing this. My sister was a primary school teacher but she's recently quit and taken a completely different job because she was so miserable and overworked. How will you stop this from happening and end the crisis in retention and recruitment?

IndeSaLT · 27/09/2023 13:26

Hi Bridget. I'm wondering what your thoughts are on availability of and access to specialist support for children with speech, language and communication needs in schools. A recent report from Speech & Language UK shows that many teachers are concerned about this issue and would value more training on this topic. Previous reports from the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists have shown that many children are waiting a long time (<2 years) to access speech and language therapy and inequalities widened following the pandemic. Thank you in advance.

TeenyBop8 · 27/09/2023 13:41

Hi Bridget, I am sure you are aware about the national crisis concerning the lack of special school places and consequentially the number of children who are either not receiving an education at all or one that does not meet their needs. How do Labour plan to tackle this issue if they are voted in at the next General election?

ArabellaScott · 27/09/2023 13:50

Hi Bridget.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the teaching and implementation of gender ideology in schools, particularly given this recent excellent article from Stephanie Davies-Arai on safeguarding issues related to 'transitioning' children, and the Conservative's failure to clarify guidance for schools:

'“affirming a child’s gender identity” is ideology, not law. Social transition of one child is adultification not just of that child but of all children in the school, a complete failure of safeguarding'

The government needs to put safeguarding first | Stephanie Davies-Arai | The Critic Magazine

It should not allow social transitioning in schools…

TeenDivided · 27/09/2023 14:04

Will Labour scrap T-Levels and retain the tried and tested BTECs?

CampervanKween · 27/09/2023 14:04

What will labour do to protect our daughters at school given the rise in sexual violence towards girls. It is important for reasons of safety and dignity for girls to have single-sex female only facilities however the move appears to be toward mixed-sex and allowing males to identify their way into female spaces.

smallshinybutton · 27/09/2023 14:04

Hello, what is the role of Shadow Minister?

TeenDivided · 27/09/2023 14:05

Is Labour aware there is a funding gap for 'y14s' who have left college without English & maths qualifications but yet also don't qualify for free English & Maths under Adult Education provision.
Will they plug this gap?

twistyizzy · 27/09/2023 14:08

Why do you feel that raising VAT on private school fees will go any way to tackle inequality in state schools? It is clear some parents will be forced to pull their children from private schools and move closer to good state schools plus use tutors. This will only serve to limit opportunity for poorer pupils whose parents can't afford to take these steps. Lifelong Labour voter here who will now not vote Labour.

MrsOvertonsWindow · 27/09/2023 14:08

In recent years, many political lobby groups have become involved in schools influencing pastoral care systems, sports, the SRE curriculum and school organisation. Schools are under a legal requirement (Education Act 1996) to prohibit the promotion of partisan political views and to take steps to ensure the balanced presentation of opposing views on political issues when they are brought to the attention of pupils

What steps would a labour government take to ensure that groups with a political agenda (those demanding the removal of the rights of girls to single sex sport, dormitories & changing rooms) are only able to participate in schools as part of a balanced curriculum offer where alternate views are shared?
Thank you.

ShagratandGorbag4ever · 27/09/2023 14:11

Hi Bridget

There are clearly many issues with ageing and potentially unsafe school buildings. Do you have a plan for rebuilding or replacing such premises and how would it be funded?

CottonHeadedNinnyMug · 27/09/2023 14:12

How would your party look to improve outcomes for Looked After and Previously Looked after children?

FluffMagnet · 27/09/2023 14:19

Hello. It appears that Labour's headline message on education appears to be an attempt to destroy private education as far as possible, which seems to me to be a race to the bottom under the guise of equality, rather than tackling the very real and substantial issues in the state sector (teacher attraction and retention, workload, dangerous buildings, classroom behaviour, (lack of) appropriate SEN provision to name but a few). We all know private parents aren't likely to jump happily to the local failing state and throw their money at them, so this seems nothing more than class war and creating further division in our very divided society than actual answers to our education problems.

NewMum0305 · 27/09/2023 14:19

Is Labour planning to reverse the changes to childcare ratios?

minipie · 27/09/2023 14:19

If VAT is added to private school fees, will you do the same for private healthcare?

If not, why not - since the same ideological objections apply, arguably even more so.

Potterinthegarden · 27/09/2023 14:21

What actual difference would we see in our schools one year into a Labour Government?

HeritageBlooms · 27/09/2023 14:22

There have been 10 Secretaries of State for Education from 2013 to 2023.

Would you support an initiative to de-politicise Education so we can put children and their education first and foremost rather than using it as a way to win votes?

AussieManque · 27/09/2023 14:23

Hi, please can you explain what you would do to ensure Covid mitigations in schools and therefore follow the DofE's duty to ensure schools are safe spaces for learning, this reducing student (and staff) absence due to sickness?

Edited as misread that this was the shadow secretary.

Daddybegood · 27/09/2023 14:25

Hi Bridget
The Labour proposal to apply tax on private school fees has seemingly not been thought through. Being able to charge VAT on fees will also mean such schools can reclaim the last 10 years VAT, so to claim £1.7 billion will be raised for education is almost as untrue as claiming brexit would raise £350m pw for the NHS.
The reality is that those 10% of private school pupils awarded bursaries (i.e. from lower income families) through the exusting charitable designation would be the biggest casualty as there is no benefit to the school of providing a charitable education if other fees have to rise 20%
Will you commit to looking at this damaging & pointless policy in more detail before embarking on it?

Mkgmum · 27/09/2023 14:26

Every school in our borough is oversubscribed, and some children are being sent to schools much too far away from home. Would labour have any realistic plans to tackle this issue and if so how?

RhannionKPSS · 27/09/2023 14:26

Do you know that children need single sex toilets and changing rooms for gym at school ?

Are you, & Labour planning to get rid of Stonewall, and all the other T + pressure groups which are gaslighting children out of schools if Labour win the next GE?

Are Labour planning to stop paying outside agencies to gaslight children at school?
Do you care about safeguarding children?

GreyNomad · 27/09/2023 14:26

I would like to know what labour will do about summer born admission legislation if they get back into power.

As the current government has done a disappointing u-turn on their promise to legislate to allow parents to make the decision about what year group their summer born child starts school in (e.g. reception at age 5 or miss reception and straight into year 1) and also for summer born children educated out of cohort to automatically remain out of cohort at educational transfer points (e.g. primary to secondary).

Unfortunately this process is still a post-code lottery, with some councils allowing parental choice and some making it incredibly difficult... and many schools also don't have a clue about the process and refuse to follow the law and associated guidance.

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