Dear David Cameron,
As a 14 year old in state education, I’m often surrounded by a wide diversity of young people all from an array of different backgrounds both financially and culturally.
As we all know, school is not only an academic opportunity, but a social one too. Meeting and interacting with such a range of people whose experiences are completely different to mine has really opened my eyes to the struggles which some who are less well-off face daily.
For example, in my school there are a lot of residential trips to places like France; Spain; Italy etc. The prices range anywhere from £300 to roughly £1000, a cost which even a family that is quite well off would struggle to afford; let alone those on benefits or with multiple low paid jobs.
Having friends who are in these situations gives you a taste of how excluded they feel.
But it isn’t just the big expensive foreign trips that they are excluded from. We often have trips to theatres to see productions that are an important part of our curriculum and with each one costing £15, people on low incomes just can’t afford to go.
Not only are they missing out on a once-in-a- lifetime opportunity which they would otherwise have if their parents had a greater income, but also their emotional health is suffering too.
This is a major factor of one of the most worrying issues within the teenage community today, which is self-harm. I know that some of my fellow pupils self-harm, and they do it because they have low self-esteem or worry about problems that they face at home but also worry about their future.
These people know they won’t have the same opportunities as other people because their parents cannot afford to support them at University or even college, and they are scared to go and end up with thousands of pounds of debt.
In modern society, we claim to fight inequality in hope that one day we’ll reach a point where nobody is discriminated against for something they can’t help like being poor.
But, in my school I see children whose families have less and less money, and we’ve even got children living in bed and breakfast or sharing just a couple of rooms for their whole family. This is really bad for children and very damaging for their education.
To tackle these issues, cuts to our public services such as, the NHS, police force and universities, need to be stopped!
Give us the vote
Also, I believe a boost in funding for school trips needs to be addressed. However, first and foremost, we the future generation need to be taken seriously and given the vote.
With the vote, we’ll have the power to become our own independent people and help to create the strongest new era of government yet, which’ll be most helpful with regards to becoming an equal society.
After all, how will we ever achieve equality when the well-being of young people, our future, is being ignored?