The Labour Party’s candidate for Mayor made his public views on school system change known in the BoS at the weekend.
“I believe that changing school too many times hinders a child’s learning, so I support a move to two tier.”.
“James is welcome to his beliefs. However, most parents and middle school supporters believe that two smaller well-managed transitions can be much better than one harsh change from a primary school with maybe only 150 pupils to a huge secondary of 2000 adolescents and young adults.”
“To avoid disruption to our children, the reorganisation will take place over a long time period – planning and discussions with the schools over the next three years, and implementation between 2013 and 2015. But we need to decide now.”
“The disruption will be caused over the next 10 years, with Marie Celeste middle schools for 5 years losing their best staff and their brightest children whose parents will scrimp and save to put them into the private sector.”
“The disruption will be caused in upper schools, as three year groups and their new teachers descend on one day in September 2014 or 2015 and have a far-reaching effect on results for years, as in other authorities that have changed recently.”
“The disruption will be caused in lower schools, where the change to primary is underfunded and due to come out of the schools’ own budgets.”
“The disruption will be caused for all teachers, where the new government’s educational initiatives and financial cuts will have to be implemented at the same time as this damaging change.”
“Yes, we do have to decide now. Decide to remain three-tier for the next 30-50 years, so bureaucrats and politicians don’t come back and try again in 3,5,10 years’ time.”
“I am telling you this because I think it is important for Bedford’s democracy that anyone who wants to be Mayor is honest about what they believe.”
“Thank you James. That is the most sensible thing you have said so far. We don’t agree with your opinion on schools, and you probably won’t get elected as the ‘reds’ aren’t the nations favourite colour at the moment, but you might have made a reasonable Mayor of Bedford.”
“Perhaps it is time for Dave Hodgson to show his hand now. Come on Dave, you know you want to…”