Our schools policy is in chaos

untitled (250)When the leader of Conservative dominated Kent County Council and Chair of the County Councils network decides to speak out against a Conservative Government and its policies, one would expect that the Government will listen and taking account of what is said. Paul Carter who is the person concerned is someone I have worked with in the past when we were both Directors of the South East England Regional Assembly (SEERA). He is certainly capable of speaking his mind as this challenge shows, however he is also fully aware of how important it is to keep Ministers on his side and to pick his battles. Paul was speaking this week about the Government’s education policy and in particular the new funding formula for Schools saying that “I think the intent was honourable but it needs re-thinking,” and he also said “We welcome a new funding formula, but are we hitting the right spots? I think not.” This is because of the impact on rural Schools of this formula which hits a number of County Councils very hard, some even more so than Kent. For Paul to speak out at this time is particularly noteworthy, he is fully aware of the bigger educational picture and few County Councils have as much to gain from the expansion of Grammar Schools as Kent has. As Paul will have known and as this report explains there is currently a cross party campaign being led by Nicky Morgan (Conservative) and Lucy Powell (Labour) who were Education Minister and shadow Minister respectively and Nick Clegg as ex Deputy Prime Minister to bring a focus to the opposition to the expansion of Grammar Schools. Add to this the burgeoning cost of the Free Schools programme which is deeply concerning to many people and it would seem that the time has arrived for Justine Greening and Theresa May to take all aspects of their education policy back to the drawing board. The Government must know it is in trouble over education and for Paul Carter to speak out at this time is a rare example of the Tories defending small and unprotected communities from the might of a Government that is clearly in chaos on so many fronts. For him to take this stand is an indication of how much damage has already occurred in communities such as Kent. Let us hope the party does respond and quickly.


About ianchisnall

I have a passion to see public policy made accessible everyone who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as in policies on health services and strategic planning.
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