As reported in the Barnsley Chronicle on 12th October, Stephanie recently held a meeting at the Northern College regarding funding for education for survivors of modern slavery.
The meeting, which involved the Department for Education and tutors from the Northern College, discussed the Northern College’s ‘Free Thinking’ Programme, which provides education and support to help survivors of modern slavery reintegrate into society.
The meeting also focused on the broader issues around funding for survivors of modern slavery, who are often ineligible for public funds, a difficulty which has led to the Northern College largely funding its course from its own reserves, and possible ways to make progress so that survivors of slavery are able to access education.
Following the meeting, Stephanie spoke in Parliament about the ‘Free Thinking’ course, discussing the words of the survivors themselves to demonstrate the importance and success of the course.
Commenting, Stephanie said:
“Survivors of modern slavery have already suffered work without pay and life without freedom, yet under current rules, many are cruelly denied access to education and a route back into society.
“That’s why I felt it was so important to arrange this meeting.
“Denying survivors of modern slavery an education is grossly unfair.
“Empowered with skills and knowledge, they could reintegrate into society and make a great contribution – and we can address a terrible injustice.”