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Campaigning Forest Gate pupils celebrate parents getting paid living wage

PUBLISHED: 10:03 12 November 2019 | UPDATED: 10:13 12 November 2019

St Antony's pupils had campaigned to get London City Airport to pay the living wage. Picture: Caroline Teo

St Antony's pupils had campaigned to get London City Airport to pay the living wage. Picture: Caroline Teo

Greater London Authority

Children have celebrated parents getting a fair day's pay for a fair day's work by performing a song to the mayor of London.

Campaigning pupils from St Antony's Catholic Primary in Upton Avenue, Forest Gate, sang to Sadiq Khan, business leaders and supporters of the London Living Wage (LLW) at Somerset House on Monday, November 11.

The youngsters were at an event marking the announcement the LLW rate is increasing from £10.55 to £10.75 an hour.

In a special assembly ahead of the event, headteacher, Angela Moore, said: "We are letting our words teach and actions speak by standing up for those who are the most vulnerable in our community.

"The living wage is about ensuring every single child's family is able to earn a wage that will help them to have their daily bread."

St Antony's pupils with mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. Picture: Caroline TeoSt Antony's pupils with mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. Picture: Caroline Teo

Pupils were reminded of living wage veteran, Sister Una, who was moved to campaign for better pay after a pupil wrote about his mother being dead.

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She wasn't. He just never saw her because she was working three jobs to make ends meet.

Deputy headteacher, Yvonne Wade, told pupils: "We want parents to be paid so well they are there you when you get home and will not have to work three or four jobs."

Children from St Antony's Catholic Primary performed to mayor, Sadiq Khan, marking the start of living wage week. Picture: Caroline TeoChildren from St Antony's Catholic Primary performed to mayor, Sadiq Khan, marking the start of living wage week. Picture: Caroline Teo

St Antony's continues Sister Una's legacy by keeping up the pressure, having successfully campaigned with the help of organisation Newham Citizens to get London City Airport to commit to becoming an accredited living wage employer.

Liam McKay, the airport's director of corporate affairs, met the children in February. In March, London City made the decision to become a living wage employer.

In celebration at an assembly, the children performed to the school, singing: "We shake the hands of those that paved the way for a fair day's work for a fair day's pay."

Mr McKay said: "We are grateful to the pupils whose powerful advocacy, along with the guidance of the Living Wage Foundation, supported the airport's journey to becoming a London Living Wage employer within seven months.

Caroline Verdant (centre) is the shadow lead for performing arts at St Antony's. Picture: Caroline TeoCaroline Verdant (centre) is the shadow lead for performing arts at St Antony's. Picture: Caroline Teo

"Being an accredited employer means that more of our staff, key direct suppliers and contractors - many of whom reside locally - receive a sustainable and decent living. We encourage other east London businesses to sign up."

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