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Equality of Opportunity for UK Children

Volume 696: debated on Wednesday 26 May 2021

This Government believe in levelling up for people of all ages and we are investing more in the education of students from lower-income families so that they can unlock opportunities. Our weighted national funding formula and the pupil premium fund academic interventions as well as important pastoral initiatives and are further supplemented during this difficult time by the national tutoring programme and the holiday activities and food programme, which will also help those students.

Young people in my constituency deserve the very best opportunities outside of education. That is why I have been campaigning for an OnSide youth centre in West Bromwich, which has proved so successful in Wolverhampton. Will my hon. Friend support my campaign for a state-of-the-art youth centre, backed by local business, so that we can truly level up opportunities for young people in West Bromwich East?

I massively congratulate my hon. Friend on her true passion and interest in the young people of West Bromwich. The Government recognise the impact of youth services, which are improving the life chances and wellbeing of young people. The Government have already funded OnSide with £6 million last year to support young people during the pandemic. Another £30 million of the Youth Investment Fund has been committed as capital investment for 2021-22. That will provide investment in new resources as well as in refurbished safe spaces. Further details of the timetable and allocations will be announced very soon, and I recommend that my hon. Friend keeps a sharp look out for that announcement.