Make education a priority in this election

The Labour View SUS-170126-103738001
The Labour View SUS-170126-103738001

There has been a good deal of news and activity relating to our schools and education recently, and no wonder. Schools right across Crawley and West Sussex are being starved of funds by this Tory Government.

If things don’t change, there’ll be fewer teachers, with even fuller class sizes. The quality of the education will suffer as teachers have less time to give individual students their attention.

There’ll be pressure to prioritise core subjects at the expense of the more creative and less academic subjects, like art, drama, PE and dance. Once the teachers who taught it are gone, those subjects won’t be coming back. There’s no school trips, cleaning services get cut back. It all paints a miserable outlook for our young people.

Local headteachers predict a stark rise in the number of schools running into debt. The Government’s current funding simply does not take all the other financial pressures into account.

Labour has now called twice for a one million pound pot to be made available to schools for an emergency fund, from county council reserves. If it means that more teachers or teaching assistants can be kept on to provide extra support and keep class sizes down then it has to be worth it. Both times rejected by the Tories.

But the Tory Government has plenty of money for its elaborate plans for schools structures. If you took the £384 million they set aside for forced academisation, and the £50 million for grammars, you could fund the 21 worst funded councils like ours to the tune of £20 million each! Precisely the amount of money West Sussex schools are underfunded compared to the national average.

But with this, frustratingly – no one wins - it is their own communities that the Tories are cheating most.

The Tory Government is simply not listening. On Thursday please use your vote and send them a message they can’t ignore.