Equality of Opportunity
Finally, I'm a firm believer in equality of opportunity, particularly for our young. Why is it for example, that a bright but disadvantaged 10 year old child will leave school at 16 with significantly fewer qualifications than a not so bright middle class child? It's because the opportunities and the means to succeed at school are overwhelmingly stacked in favour of the middle classes. That's why I'm proud that progressive Liberal Democrat policies have been the cornerstone of this coalition government, such as:
- the pupil premium: extra money for schools to spend on children in receipt of free school meals
- free school meals for 5-7 year olds: ensuring that every child is fed and ready to learn
- shared parental leave: allowing for more "hands on" fathers and women to purse career goals
As a parent of myself, I know just how vitally important it is to ensure that every child has the chance to reach their full potential. I'm lucky to have taken on much of the day-to-day carer of my two small boys and I recognise the importance of the role fathers play in child development. I also strongly believe that having children should not disadvantage women wishing to pursue professionl careers. As my CV will show, I have long campaigned for equality of opportunity and through my work with The Frank Hampshire Foundation, I have firsthand experience of how limited social mobility is without equality of opportunity.