We have long spoken out about the issues facing our Borough’s schools - chronic under funding by the Conservative Government, a lack of secondary school places, the weakness of Ofsted, and the damage caused by league tables. The need for a radical overhaul of the school system featured strongly at the Liberal Democrat Conference in Brighton from 15-18 September and received whole hearted backing from the National Education Union.
Kevin Courtney, joint General Secretary, said: “The Liberal Democrats have grasped the main issues that are blighting our education system. A chronic shortage of funding and low pay alongside an inspection and assessment system that is not fit for purpose has led to unmanageable workloads and the recruitment and retention crisis. Teachers are leaving in their droves and many graduates do not consider teaching as an attractive option”.
Layla Moran, Liberal Democrats spokesperson for Education, and former teacher herself, told the Conference: ‘The Government is failing our children. Funding pressures mean that we’re dropping subjects from the curriculum – shrinking the scope of learning and limiting horizons for the future at the very point when we need those horizons to be stretched to the limit. School inspections should look at the culture of a school and focus on the wellbeing of teachers and pupils as much as academic results. And where a school is struggling, an inspection system should support that school to improve, not punish it.”
She also reiterated our opposition to league tables – all of us in Bromley saw the damage that league tables cause in the scandal that hit St Olave’s School in 2017 when Year 12 students were illegally refused places in Year 13 based on their likely exam results. “It beggars belief that we insist on publishing league tables which cultivate a damaging system where schools compete so ferociously that they forget their true purpose: to improve education for all”.
Education is for all and for life, not just the very rich, the very fortunate or the very clever.
To find out more about our Education policies visit:
You can read Layla Moran’s speech in full here: