Kent Green Party will consider how to meet the demand for more school places in Kent and the problems created by selective education, at its June meeting in Wye, near Ashford. Stuart Jeffery, Chair of Kent Green Party, explains:
“Kent Green Party will be discussing practical measures to meet the school places shortfall with speaker Becky Matthews from STEP, the campaign against selective education in Kent, at its June meeting in Wye, near Ashford. It is alarming that Kent County Council has to find 10,700 primary school places and two new secondary schools in the next four years. 800 children in Kent could not get a place at one of their three preferred primary schools, this April(1). Selective schools distributed unevenly across Kent and Medway have made secondary education as much a transport policy as an education policy, with children spending large parts of each school day travelling significant distances to and from school. This could have been avoided if Kent and Medway secondary schools were all comprehensive. Coupled with fundamental inefficiencies in children’s services (2) and declining youth services, the overall picture for young people is one of neglect.
“There has even been maladministration in the provision of grammar school places, in Tunbridge Wells (3). It is disturbing that four out of every ten head teachers say their school buildings are unfit for purpose nationwide(4). The Government is adamant that academy schools do not have to keep to current healthy school food standards, undoing years of progress(5).
“The Green Party is committed to maintaining education whilst paying off the deficit through a fair tax system(6).”
FURTHER INFORMATION: Stuart Jeffery, Chair of Kent Green Party, 0797 0436 029
on Contact address as above. Promoted by H.Dawe and published by Kent Green Party, both at 27 Audley Avenue, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1XF. Monthly free ezine KENT GREEN NEWS available for subscription at www.kentgreenparty.org
2. 2. See requirements placed upon KCC for improvements: http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/localgovernment/pdf/1869311.pdf
3. 3. According to the Local Government Ombudsman: http://www.lgo.org.uk/complaint-outcomes/education/education-archive-2011-12/kent-county-council-amp-tunbridge-wells-girls-gram/ and see also: http://www.kentnews.co.uk/news/education_chiefs_vow_to_avoid_a_repeat_of_serious_flaws_in_tunbridge_wells_1_1381500
4. 4. Jessica Shepherd – English schools too dilapidated to teach in: poll The Observer, 20th May 2012.
5. 5. Toby Helm and Denis Campbell – Academy junk food loophole must be closed, Jamie tells MPs The Observer, 20th May 2012.
6. 6. Specifically, the Green Party supports far higher cigarette and alcohol taxation, additional council tax bands at the top of the current scale, raising Air Passenger Duty and increasing the higher rates of tax for the highest paid. We can pay off the Deficit and maintain public services, by putting an end to self-defeating austerity policies.