Friday, 14 December 2012

Suffolk Schools failing but who do Tories blame - parents?

Tory run Suffolk County Council should be holding its head in shame today after primary schools in the county performed badly in the league tables, with only Kingston Upon Tyne and the Medway Towns producing lower results. Too many Suffolk schools are failing our pupils. Some of our Primary schools are outstanding, but many need improvement. There is a desperate need to invest in improving many of our schools in Suffolk, and in many areas such as North East Ipswich schools are full and new primary schools are needed. The Conservative-led government’s insistence on diverting much-needed investment into building new Free Schools which nobody wants or needs, in places such as Beccles, just looks even more crazy and damaging in the light of these results.

Ipswich Spy has put up a post about this issue, which included the accusation that I had slurred County Officers. I had commented that many in education thought that the county were happy for primary schools to fail as this would see many become academies – meaning the county would be in charge of fewer schools. Only yesterday a former head of a primary school spoke to me about this issue.

But if that did happen, it would mean that the County Education Department could be reduced in manpower – so Officers would lose their jobs. So it become obvious that if there is no real desire to save failing schools – it is a Tory councillor decision not Officers.

I agreed with Tory councillors when they decided to go for a two tier system, but now find it strange that some of those same Tories are now supporting a 3 tier system that includes middle schools replaced by ‘Free’ Schools.

One positive outcome to the scrapping of the 3 tier system would be that schools no longer used could have been sold off and the money used by the County council (We hoped for education) but instead we see Middle school sites being given away for free to ‘Free’ schools.

It also seems that the County Tory Cabinet are not as one on ‘Free’ schools – and it seems that at least one Tory MP has attempted to influence the promotion of ‘Free’ schools.

‘Free’ Schools seem here to stay, but the County need to up their game, if Suffolk schools are third from bottom in a national league table they are failing, and as the Tory run county is responsible for those schools, they are also failing.

What has been quite noticeable is that our Tory MP’s have been silent over the results, imagine if Labour run Ipswich Borough council had come third from bottom in a national league table – Mr Gummer would have been on BBC Radio Suffolk, Town FM and on every page of every local paper- but all we have had today is …. Silence!

Footnote - Apologies to Mr Gummer - he has just been on BBC Radio Suffolk and is blaaming the Local authority, but states that they have been failing for many years. Will Mr Gummer be asking the County now to spend more on education? Will he ask them to stop supporting 'Free' schools and get on with looking after their own? Don't hold your breath!

Last night a local tory supporter on twitter did blame someone - the parents! Thats good as long as it is not the fault of a badly run Suffolk Cpounty Council.

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