The Chair of Warwickshire Children’s and Young Peoples Scrutiny Committee has said the Government is to blame for the education failings identified recently by the Chief Inspector of Schools, Sir Michael Wilshaw.
Sir Michael said that the geographical divide in this country now meant children in the Midlands and the North are less likely to go to a school rated good or outstanding than their peers in the south of the country.
Cllr Dave Parsons said “Sir Micheal is right to point out that there is a lack of political will to improve standards” but that lack of will is coming from the current Government who have decided to plough ahead with their plans for education that remove any real local involvement or accountability. The Governments academy programme means just two secondary schools in our County will still be in local authority control by the end of the year.
The Government is cutting funding to local authorities and this has a direct impact on the services local people receive. Statistics tell us that in areas of deprivation, you’re more likely to go to a school that isn’t rated as good or outstanding. In Warwickshire we have our own north and south divide as children in the north of the county are less likely than their peers in the south to go to a school that is rated as at least good.
As the Government cuts local authority funding it is predicted that child poverty will increase by 30%. As poverty is often linked to your standard of education, this is a recipe for disaster.
I know in Warwickshire that Councillors of all parties care about our children’s education but you can’t have it both ways. If you support cutting public spending in the way the current Government is doing, then it is hypocrisy to shed tears when this impacts on our young people in Warwickshire.”