Students join conference to back education investment

PUBLISHED: 15:00 22 October 2017

SJL students Lulu Abubakar and Lucy Holloway with Ed Miliband at the Labour Party Conference.

SJL students Lulu Abubakar and Lucy Holloway with Ed Miliband at the Labour Party Conference.


Two Harpenden students met former Labour leader Ed Miliband at the party’s annual conference to highlight the importance of investment in education.

SJL students Lulu Abubakar and Lucy Holloway at the Labour Party Conference. SJL students Lulu Abubakar and Lucy Holloway at the Labour Party Conference.

Lulu Abubakar and Lucy Holloway, both 16, from Sir John Lawes School were acting as champions of the international Send My Friend to School Campaign.

As representatives of the 300,000 strong campaign, Lulu and Lucy were able to speak to senior Labour politicians to outline why education investment is crucial across the world.

There was a designated Youth Zone in which the girls spoke to former Labour leader Ed Miliband, and Stephen Twigg the MP for Liverpool West Derby.

The Harpenden students discussed the challenges with funding for education internationally, a problem which means that 25 million children will never begin primary school.

Lulu and Lucy said: “We both had a thoroughly enjoyable day, we felt we achieved something within our campaign, promoting our goal of the UK government pledging $500m to the Global Partnership for Education.”

The Global Partnership for Education is an international organisation which aims to improve education systems in developing countries and get more children into education.

There are currently 263 million children out of school: 61 million primary school age; 60 million lower secondary school age and 142 million upper secondary school age.

In their conversation with Ed Miliband, the girls asked what the Labour Party felt the government should be doing to support education for all.

Headteacher Helen Cox said: “Attending the Labour Conference was a real eye opener for the students into party politics 
and provided an excellent opportunity for students to engage with MPs on an issue they feel strongly about.”

The Send My Friend to School Campaign was set up by charities and teaching union in 2000 after world leaders promised to deliver free, primary education by 2015.

Campaign manager Ema Jackson said: “Education is powerful and transformative, and a basic human right for all children. The world is experiencing an urgent 
education crisis so I am delighted that Lucy and Lulu are engaging with MPs to demand the UK invests in the future of the world.”

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