Word reached SMS this week of Parvez Akhtar and Apu Bagchi’s first newsletters. This is what they say about schools:
Parvez Akhtar – Conservative (and pictured on his leaflet outside Alban Middle School’s “Save Our School” sign)
“As a dad of children in local lower, middle and upper schools, I know how important it is we get this decision right. I believe our three-tier schools have served us well. The case for change hasn’t been proven and there’s now massive uncertainty that the Labour Government would give us the money needed for a reorganisation – but here’s my personal guarantee: parents’ views will have the real role in my consultation process that many feel they don’t have now.”
Apu Bagchi – Independent
“(I will) put the brakes on the borough’s expensive school reorganisation programme and invest more to improve the educational attainment of all our children.” In his manifesto, Apu adds: “If the predicted public spending squeeze really starts to bite, I don’t want to see the local taxpayer having to bail out a scheme that will create massive disruption for teachers, parents and a generation of our school children.”
Last week, Tony Hare (Independent) said in the T&C:
“To change to a two-tier structure will cost a considerable amount of money, and the construction, upheaval to children at a vulnerable time, and the additional travelling for children in rural areas will all be for what? To change the existing system while using the same teachers, teaching the same children and using the same curriculum, for the same duration, with no guarantees of any better results.”
It seems like these three candidates ought to have our support then, as they have called this issue correctly.
For James Valentine (Labour, who supports two-tier on the basis of two school transitions being more disruptive than one) and for Dave Hodgson (LibDem, who apparently doesn’t think this is important enough to have a view either way in public) perhaps our readership might like to reconsider their traditional party allegiances this time round.
And in an election that may be too close to call, everybody’s votes (both of them, first choice and second) will count.
So SMS are asking that you ensure you, your family and your friends vote for a candidate who openly supports stability, not educational and financial chaos. Spread the word.