Forest Gate school celebrates becoming Living Wage employer

St Antony's Primary School in Forest Gate becomes Living Wage employer on Living Wage week

St Antony's Primary School in Forest Gate held a special assembly on Friday - November 19 - to celebrate being accredited as a Living Wage employer - Credit: St Antony's Primary School

A school in Forest Gate has marked becoming a Living Wage employer with a special assembly.

St Antony's Catholic Primary School is now one of nearly 9,000 employers who pay their staff what is known as the real Living Wage (RLW), calculated as £11.05 per hour in London and £9.90 across the rest of the UK.

Championed by the Living Wage Foundation and community alliance Citizens UK, this is greater than the current national living wage of £8.91 per hour. 

Employers wishing to make this commitment have to apply for an accreditation; St Antony's actually received this during the summer, but held their assembly back to align with the 20th anniversary of Living Wage Week which began on November 15.

Forest Gate school holds special assembly in honour of becoming Living Wage employer

The school wanted to hold the assembly during Living Wage Week, which took place from November 15-21 - Credit: St Antony's Primary School

Speaking after the assembly on Friday - November 19 - higher level teacher assistant Caroline Verdant said: "I’m proud that as a school we are accredited.

"It’s a campaign that’s close to our hearts as we see the impact of low pay on our families and community every day."

Alongside Citizens UK, the school has been at the forefront of efforts to get Newham employers paying the RLW.

It is an initiative that St Antony's has backed for a long time, demonstrated by its staff striving to secure the RLW for carers during the throes of coronavirus.

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Their campaigning - with which pupils are also involved - has paid off.

The likes of London City Airport, Tate & Lyle Sugars and Newham Council are all now Living Wage employers.

Ending today - November 21 - this year's Living Wage Week saw mayor Sadiq Khan show his support for the campaign by attending the launch of the London Living Wage project at the Royal Docks.

At that launch it was confirmed that poverty charity Trust for London is providing Citizens UK with £4.7 million of funding to boost its RLW campaign.

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