John Mann calls for money from football course ‘shambles’ to be paid back

John Mann MP
John Mann MP

At the beginning of this week, I secured an adjournment debate in the House of Commons focusing on the Government report into a football course that was subcontracted by the College of West Anglia and moved to Worksop Town Academy, writes John Mann, MP for Bassetlaw.

The Government’s report looked at the 16 and 17-year-olds who participated in the scheme as part of a further education qualification and it highlights what a shambles the project was.

This report followed on from the concerns I had raised at senior Government levels about the scheme.

The report confirmed that £168,000 was made available to fund the scheme, yet students were still expected to pay for their lunch, transport and football kit.

There were never any assessments of the financial backgrounds of these students to ensure they could afford this.

One student was also fined due to being unable to attend one session.

In the adjournment debate, I outlined all of this and called on the College of West Anglia to repay the students what they are owed. I have been pushing on this for more than a year.

I hope that now the students will be reimbursed for the money they had to pay out with no qualifications at the end, and that in future, on-site learning schemes are properly regulated.

On Monday, the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Anti-Semitism, which I am chairman of, hosted a conference on women and anti-Jewish racism.

This was to highlight the concern that Jewish women, in particular, are facing both

sexist and racist abuse.

The group wanted to shine a light on this and ensure that no-one is put off from participating and fully engaging in public life.

There were events in the Speaker’s House in Parliament, at 10 Downing Street and at Lancaster House.

At each event, more than 100 women from across different back-grounds and parts of Government, Parliament and civil society came to discuss this particular problem and look for solutions.