Labour County Council Press Release

Labour push back against Tory changes to schools - May 2016

Today Labour Party Councillors were proud to second a motion that calls for a rethink of government education policy, specifically over the forced academisation of failing schools, and the removal of parent governors.

The motion, seconded by former teacher Brian Oosthuysen (L. Rodborough), called on Gloucestershire’s six MPs and leading Conservatives at Shire Hall to lobby against the Government’s planned changes to schools.

Brian said that, “We were delighted that because of strong opposition to the Government’s plans they have been forced to back down on compulsory academisation. However there is more to do, we have to allow parents back onto governing bodies, and we have to help solve some of the most pervasive problems in our education system: Chronic underfunding, a recruitment crisis of teachers, and the overcrowding of our classrooms.

Councillor Tracy Millard (L. Tuffley), who sits on the children’s and families scrutiny committee, said that, “I am not surprised the Tories have had to back down over this, not only were local authorities like us being barred from the table, but so were parents. The next fight is to make sure that every parent can sit on their local school’s governing body, something that the Government are refusing to budge on. You only get the best standards in education when parents, teachers, and local authorities join together in the interests of the child”.

Planned forced academisation of the County’s schools would have cost local taxpayers around £500,000 over the next five years if plans had gone ahead. Currently 85% of primary schools in Gloucestershire are not yet academies, and, as seen in recent figures, 94% of primary aged children attend a ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ school. 

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