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Helping Islington’s children and young people get the best start in life

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Cllr Joe Caluori, Executive Member for Children, Young People and Families, blogs about the Fair Futures Commission.

This week (22 February) Islington Council launched its pioneering Fair Futures Commission, which will explore how we can create a truly child and youth friendly community.

Islington Labour is committed to creating a fairer borough for all. That is why in 2017 there will be a focus on all children and young people to help them better reach their full potential.

Islington is a fantastic place to grow up, with brilliant parks, museums, sports facilities and cultural venues right on the doorstep. However, for far too many children and young people, growing up in Islington is challenging. We want to take a radical look at how the Council and its partners can help to change that.

Since taking control of the Council in 2010, Islington Labour has been working hard to make the borough a place where all children, regardless of their background, have the opportunity to succeed.

We have had significant achievements in and are continuing to work hard on key areas, such as building more genuinely affordable homes, helping local people into work, and targeting support to young people who need it most. Local schools continue to improve, with the progress pupils make in Islington’s secondary schools ranking in the top 20 in the country.

Despite significant cuts to council funding by the central Government, we have kept all our children’s centres open and invested millions in youth services. Our pioneering universal free school meals programme means no child in Islington has to start their day hungry.

But there is still more that can be done to ensure all children and young people get the best start in life.

There are challenges but also opportunities to drive innovation and positive change. The only way to achieve this is to listen to everyone, inspire others and challenge ourselves.

I am delighted that Jermain Jackman, a former Islington Arts and Media School student and winner of TV talent show The Voice in 2014, will be chairing the Fair Futures Commission. High profile academics, psychologists, Islington parents and young people, will also serve on the Board. This meeting of talented minds will mean the Commission can provide independent advice and support by bringing everyone together who wants to make Islington a fairer place for all.

We are keen to hear from everyone who is passionate about creating a fairer Islington for children and young people. If you are interested in getting involved in the Commission please visit the website.

I look forward to sharing the Commission’s story with you over the coming year.

Pictured - Jermain Jackman, Chair of the Fair Futures Commission, and Duncombe Primary school pupils at the launch of the Fair Futures Commission

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