KENT PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 27th January 2008 - 27 Audley Avenue, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1XF - www.kentgreenparty.org 0845 257 4236 – 01732 355185 – 07747 014487
COUNTY COUNCIL MUST IDENTIFY SMALL SCHOOLS IT INTENDS TO CLOSE
Kent County Council proposes to close small primary schools with less than 110 pupils (1). Having contributed to a vigorous campaign against the closure of post offices – also a threat to small rural and urban communities – KCC now proposes to take the contradictory step of killing off small schools in the County. Dr Hazel Dawe, Chair of Kent Green Party, comments:
“There are basic requirements for any community. These include post offices, local schools, playgroups, facilities for the elderly and for youth and good, independent and diverse local shops and businesses. We have already seen how deliberate cutbacks in postal services threaten local communities. Now KCC plans to administer a devastating blow to local communities by taking away smaller schools."
“Evidence suggests pupils do better in smaller schools and in smaller classes. In fact, we need more small schools in both the primary and secondary sectors to provide better access to pupils in both rural and urban areas. Our many skill shortages – construction jobs of all kinds, planners, engineers, environmental health officers, doctors, nurses – suggest we need to fundamentally reassess the size of schools and classes in order to improve skills teaching. If KCC acts against small schools, and if class sizes remain large, then it is not contributing to address this problem – it is making it worse."
“There is no doubt that central Government is under-funding all local government activities including education. But this does not provide KCC with an excuse to damage small schools or the hope of a more skilled population in the future.”
FURTHER INFORMATION: Dr Hazel Dawe on 01732 355185 or mobile 07747 014487. Contact address as above.
1. The Observer, 27th January 2008.