Monday, 24 March 2014

So it only took the Tories 22 months to destroy education in Suffolk?

It now seems to be every day that we are reading of a new problem involving education in Suffolk. The Tory County Councillors may have confidence in the current political leadership of education in Suffolk but it seems no one else has.

We hear that last week our Tory MP Ben Gummer held an important meeting with the Tory portfolio holder for education, hope he got a better answers from her than the usual ‘Raising the Bar will sort everything out’ response the public seem to get.

The failure of the Tory run education service is beginning to concern Suffolk Tory MP’s (about time) but many just try to blame others, the Suffolk Coastal MP tweeted that Labour Councillors should be asking questions of schools in their wards – but that can be difficult – in my own Ward, the Tory run County Council did not even inform the Rushmere Division County Councillor that her local school was being forced into becoming an academy, whilst at the same time asking her for nominations for the governing body (that will be wound up in 8 weeks’ time)

Often when I mention education, Tory blogs and Tory commentators are very quick to attempt to find faults in my argument.

I have not just discovered an interest in education, I was a school governor even before I was elected as a councillor and soon realised that the Tory run education service was even then already failing our children.

In May 2012, I was very critical of the Tory run county, but yet again I was quickly attacked by my opponents and those from the Tory side. Ipswich Spy even wrote this in response to a discussion I was involved in about education:

“On the charge that you can’t trust the Tories to run education in Suffolk, you only have to look at the Ofsted inspection report for Suffolk, which are clear – Suffolk outperforms the national average, despite the three tier problems, in many of the key indicators, with most of the schools in the county outstanding or good. Hardly the picture of despair that Cllr Ross describes.”

So if education in the county was so well run in 2012, it must mean that in less than 2 years the Tories have seen the service deteriorate so badly that they found themselves the target of a critical Ofsted report – I for one believe the Tories have been failing our children for over 2 years- but if Ipswich Spy are right and everything was OK in 2012, then the sudden drop in standards comes at the same time as the County have cut funding to the School Improvement Service (as they blindly follow their aim of 0% Council Tax rise)and seem to only have one answer to any question raised on education- 'Raising the Bar'.

Just think how bad our education service will be in two further years (of underfunding)

So today we have questions being asked about what the County will do about the failing IES Breckland Free School, we have the Academy sponsor at Westbourne High School not being allowed to take on further schools and we have parent’s concerned about the provision of education for some of our most vunerable pupils at Suffolk One.

I expect Mr Gummer will quickly point out that both Westbourne and Suffolk One are outside his constituency – the buildings maybe but a large number of pupils at both establishments will live in his constituency.

So, Mr Gummer what did you discuss last Thursday with Ms Chambers, and do you have confidence in the political leadership of education in the county?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mr Ross, you might like to add that Learning Schools Trust, sponsors of Ipswich Academy have also had a block put on their expansion.

4 Academies, 3 x inspected, 3 Notices to improve (in the case of Ipswich Academy the actual rating was 'Inadequate' but they somehow got out of being in Special Measures).