Wythenshawe MP says government should be “in special measures” over schools crisis
Wythenshawe MP Mike Kane has warned of a crisis in Britain’s schools if the government’s education policies continue.
The MP, who is also Labour’s shadow minister for schools said there would be cuts of £2.5 billion to schools by 2020 with 92 per cent having their funding reduced.
Mr Kane made his warning during a parliamentary debate, saying average cut cut to primary schools will be £96,500, and the average cut for secondary schools will be £290,000. The average loss per primary school pupil will be £401, and the average loss per secondary school pupil will be £365.
He said the schools budget was protected only in cash terms, rather than in real terms, meaning it is at the mercy of rising pressures, pupil numbers and the impact of inflation on true value.
Mr Kane said: “We have a crisis in teacher morale, recruitment and retention, and we have scandal after scandal in academy trusts due to the lack of effective oversight. There is also chaos over the national funding formula and incompetence with regard to the testing and assessment criteria on a scale not seen before.
“It is a shame that parliament does not have the equivalent of Ofsted to assess the competence of the Government; if it did, the Government Front-Bench team would no doubt find itself in special measures.”
The Wythenshawe MP also attacked the government’s plans to expand grammar schools.
The policy has bee criticised because it is thought it will segregate pupils and favour those whose families can afford private tuition to get youngsters through 11-plus tests.
Mr Kane said: “Labour is obviously committed to an education system for everyone, not just a select few, and we will oppose this regressive policy of grammar school expansion every step of the way.
“The Prime Minister spoke about delivering for everyone, but what matters is what she does, and her actions reveal the government’s true colours: working in the interests of the few while everyone else is left behind; in one breath talking of creating a “great meritocracy”, and in the next announcing a return to grammar schools.”
But the Tory minister for schools Nick Gibb defended the goverment’s policies which he said includes plans to extend admissions to pupils from poorer backgrounds to grammar schools.
He said: “Since 2010, more than 1.4 million more pupils are in good or outstanding schools, and we have created over half a million new school places in that period, in direct contradiction to the last Labour Government, who cut 200,000 primary school places at a time when the birth rate was increasing.
“This Government are determined to ensure that every child has the quality of education that helps them fulfil their potential. That is the drive behind all our reforms over the past six years, and it is the objective behind the proposals to end the ban on new grammar schools and the restrictions on new good school places in our faith schools.”