Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/924/23903
From The Socialist newspaper, 9 November 2016
Library cuts: working class kids suffer most
Marching against library, gallery and museum closures, 5.11.16, photo by Paul Mattsson (Click to enlarge)
Akila, Birmingham secondary teacher
Walsall council, in one of the poorest areas of the west Midlands, is closing 15 of its 16 libraries. Sadly, this is just one of many examples of ruthless cuts which will deny young people a future.
The way children have been taught to read at schools has significantly changed over the past 20 years. However, it is still children from poorer backgrounds who are more likely to struggle with reading.
Libraries are a free resource which allow children to improve their literacy outside of school, regardless of their background. In cutting funding to libraries, it is children from less well-off backgrounds who will lose out the most.
As a child, most of the books I read were from the library. Without this, it is likely I would not have learnt to read so quickly and, as a result, I would not have done as well at school or got into university.
Cutting funding to libraries is not the only way the government is preventing pupils from poorer backgrounds from achieving their full potential. It is also cutting the money available to provide teaching assistants to support children who struggle with reading. Schools are required to give evidence of how they help pupils who need extra support to achieve their potential.
However, instead of providing the funding for pupils who need it, the government is making cuts which mean that these pupils lose out and putting pressure on teachers to close the gap. Meanwhile, the proposal to bring back grammar schools will only widen the equality gap further, demoralising a generation of children and denying them a future.
Labour runs Walsall council in coalition with the Liberal Democrats. This shows that we need Labour councillors who fight cuts, not close libraries.
Donate to the Socialist Party
The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.
The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.
The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.
- The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
- When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.
In The Socialist 9 November 2016:
High Court Brexit bombshell
Bosses' government, bosses' EU...fight for socialism
High Court bombshell on Brexit decision
Socialist Party news and analysis
Stop the 54,000 yearly maternity sackings
Build housing for the kids without homes this Xmas
Unions must act on pay restraint!
Court slams Tory air quality plans
Them & Us
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Build the education fightback
Read the Socialist
Over a thousand march to fight museums and libraries cuts
Library cuts: working class kids suffer most
Momentum left meeting excludes socialists
New Socialist Party pamphlet: Fight racism, fight for socialism
Far-right given short shrift in Darlington
Obituary: Hilary Mooney 1945-2016
Socialist Party workplace news
Action needed to defend workers at the sharp end of prisons crisis
Courts and tribunal services face huge cuts
Newcastle council cuts: opportunity for trade union fightback
Birmingham's Labour council freezes workers' pay
Hackney Picturehouse strike
International socialist news and analysis
Turkey: Erdogan tightens repressive screw
Ireland: Gardai strike threat
South Africa: State victimises #OutsourcingMustFall activists
Socialist Party comments and reviews
Horror of health-wrecking toil for Polish migrants
HyperNormalisation: Arbitrary selection of ideas to confirm feelings of powerlessness
The Socialist 9 November 2016 |
Join the Socialist
| Audio | PDF | ebook