Honeyball’s Weekly Round-Up

Labour Party

Primary schools in London are bursting and face a greater squeeze this year than ever before, a special report in the Evening Standard revealed last week. The investigation found that the shortage of places for four-year-olds has reached crisis levels.

As a result thousands of children will be taught in pre-fabricated style classrooms as local authorities search to find land to expand. This ‘perfect storm’, as Alison Roberts puts it in her article, has been caused by a combination of an unprecedented demand for places coupled with less funding.

The article states that London was allocated some £576 million from the government to address the shortage of spaces, but analysts at London Councils believe the capital faces a shortfall of £1 billion to address the problem properly.

London Councils’ executive member for children’s services, Peter John said: “Given the scale of the demand for school places, the physical constraints of existing school buildings, many of which are already full, and funding shortfalls, London boroughs face a huge challenge. The Government needs to wake up and not keep burying its head in the sand on this issue.”

He added: “Parents and children across London really need it to be sorted, and so end the anxiety they currently face.” Finding the right school for a child is a huge anxiety for parents, and as Peter John says this issue really needs to be sorted urgently. You can read the full investigation from the Evening Standard here.

As July starts and we hit the second week of Wimbledon female tennis players met to celebrate 40 years of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA). Founded by Billie Jean King in 1973 the WTA campaigned for the right to equal pay for female players-the same as that of their male counterparts.

Female players of the game from today and before met on Sunday to celebrate the anniversary and the founding of the WTA and celebrated the important breakthrough the game made in ensuring parity between men and women. You can read more and see who celebrated along with founding member Billie Jean King here.

Meanwhile, and while on the subject of sport, Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond said he will not attend this year’s Open championship to be held in mid-July. This is to show his protest at the club’s antiquated men only membership policy.

The game will be marred by the club’s attitude towards women. It is, as Salmond said when he turned down the invitation, indefensible. He told the BBC: “”I just think it’s indefensible in the 21st century not to have a golf club that’s open to all.”

“…To have the message that women are not welcome as members, can’t be members, can’t have playing rights over the course on the same basis as men, seems to send out entirely the wrong message about the future of golf.” You can read more here.