Save GEMS! Stop the cuts that will affect some of the most vulnerable children!

As you may be aware, Gwent Education Minority-Ethnic Service (GEMS), is experiencing excruciating cuts, which will hugely influence its ability to provide educational support for children whose first language is not English or Welsh including Minority Ethnic children, Asylum Seekers, Refugees, Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children and their families in Newport and Greater Gwent.

The service, which main objective is to work closely with schools and parents to help pupils improve their English language skills, has been successfully running for 25 years. Unfortunately, it is now facing funding shortfall due to cuts in Welsh Government. Newport City Council is pushing for significant number of redundancies.

This cuts will largely impact not only children new to English and for whom English is an additional language (EAL) but also their families across schools in Newport and Greater Gwent. It will also hugely affect other children and schools staff by adding extra workload to already overstretched teachers and teaching assistants. Moreover, schools will also lose support provided by highly skilled and experienced professionals on:
advice, support and guidance on race equality for schools and governing bodies,
bilingual assessments to establish language support requirements,
home visits to ensure that good communications between parents and the school are established. Essential school information being passed to parents in their home language and their concerns and questions are passed back to the school.

I appeal to all to sign this petition and try to stop the plans to deny those children their rights to an appropriate support that only GEMS service can provide. Now we need to put pressure on Welsh Government as well as Newport City Council to prevent destruction of this very valuable, successful and unique GEMS service as well as make every effort to secure its future for years to come!
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