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Greens urged to ‘get a grip’ of school places crisis


Conservative Education Spokesperson on Brighton & Hove City Council – Cllr. Andrew Wealls – has written a letter to the Argus newspaper condemning the Green Party’s handling of the school places crisis:

Dear Sir,

The Green Administration of Brighton & Hove really must get a grip of the crisis in school places in our city. It is clear that the improvement in the number of children being awarded one of their three choices of infant school is being achieved by cramming more and more children into schools that are bursting at the seams.

Together with local parents and residents, I was surprised to hear that a ‘bulge’ class was to be added to Davigdor Infants’ School and St Andrew’s Church of England School, at the last minute, without any consultation whatsoever. The other four schools being requested to take a ‘bulge’ class were at least afforded the courtesy of a proper consultation (although whether their concerns were acknowledged is another matter).

When in opposition, the Green Party campaigned for more schools and more school places. Yet what has been achieved? Where will the children from the Connaught Infants’ School in Hove be educated when the first group of youngsters leave in 2013? Parents in Central Hove and Goldsmid wards are increasingly concerned, yet no firm plans are forthcoming.

Worse still, the Green Administration is ideologically opposed to working with the Government on establishing new free schools and academies. We have the opportunity to establish a bilingual primary school and a Church of England secondary school in the city, yet the Administration is failing to support them. As a parent, there’s no obligation to choose such a school, but wouldn’t it be wonderful to have that choice? In an environment when school places are scarce, ignoring these options on ideological grounds is disgraceful.

Yours faithfully,

Andrew Wealls