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Grenfell Tower fire: New education fund to help traumatised youngsters

The Grenfell Education Fund will cover costs such as uniforms, extra tuition, and help support schools

A Grenfell Education Fund is to be set up to help young people traumatised by the fire which ripped through the tower block.

A motion put forward at the full Kensington and Chelsea Council meeting was carried unanimously by town hall denizens on Wednesday (July 19).

It will address the additional educational challenges and barriers that the young survivors and witnesses of the Grenfell Tower disaster will face over the remaining years of their education.

The motion to bring about the new fun was moved by Cllr Bevan Powell and seconded by Harrison Littler.

Police say the fire killed at least 80 people, and school children were among those who lost their lives.

The motion read: “This council recognises the long term impact of trauma on the lives of young people who have witnessed and experienced shocking events, particularly those which involve the loss of many lives.

"In particular, this council understands the negative impact such experiences can have on the educational achievement and attainment of young people.

“This council resolves to establish a Grenfell Education Fund in order to address the additional educational challenges and barriers that the young survivors and witnesses of the Grenfell Tower disaster will face over the remaining years of their education.”

Some of those who died in the fire are believed to have attended Kensington Alridge Academy, seen here in front of the destroyed Grenfell Tower(Image: PA)

Its aim is to provide a multiple layers of support to the young people, and as a minimum should help by:

  • Supporting with the cost of uniform and other essential school equipment.
  • Providing additional tuition - especially around key times such as Year 6 SATs, GCSEs and A-levels.
  • Funding additional extra-curricular and other activities or trips which would not otherwise be available.
  • Offering bursaries to encourage access to further and higher education.
  • Funding the support of an education advocate who can support families in making effective use of the funds available.
  • Supporting schools with the costs of monitoring, analysing and reporting on the educational attainment of affected children.

The newly arranged council cabinet, led by leader Elizabeth Campbell, will now work to produce a clear plan outlining how this would be funded, what the eligibility criteria for access to the fund should be, and what mechanisms will be established to enable schools, children and families to draw on the fund.

It is expected to be done in consultation with community and survivor groups.

The proposal was one of four motions passed at the meeting, which was the first since the fire.

The other motions called on the council to spend some of its £250 million-plus reserves on providing housing for those who lost their homes and for the government to grant undocumented residents caught up inside the building on the night a complete immigration amnesty - not one of 12 months as announced.

The final motion called for more inclusion and consultation with minority parties so that “decisions made reflect the diversity and needs of the borough”.

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