Responding to Tristram Hunt's article on Green Party education policy, Green Party schools spokeperson Samantha Pancheri said:
Tristram Hunt’s attack on our education policies demonstrate how out of touch Labour are with ordinary people and suggest that schools should take on the responsibility of mopping up the damage caused by soaring inequality.Samantha will be answering questions on Green Party policy for the Education Guardian. Here are the details:
When we have teachers taking food into class to feed hungry children , or consoling sobbing pupils at the end of the day because they don’t want to go home to a cold, dark house, it is startlingly obvious that there is a much larger problem in today’s society. Teachers are not social workers, and we should not be placing these demands on them. It is only by looking at the problem holistically, and by taking bold steps to eliminate poverty that we can begin to redress the balance for children.
Our education policies work in tandem with those designed to lift families out of poverty and close the wealth inequality gap. By taking that strain off schools and teachers, we can begin to support all children in accessing the same high quality education that teachers strive to deliver.
Teachers have welcomed our policies and recognise that the focus is on providing a child-focused school system, relieving the workload on teachers, and reducing bureaucracy to put accountability into local hands. The academy system, introduced by Labour and furthered by the coalition government, has failed to improve standards for schools and outcomes for children.
With 40% of newly qualified teachers leaving the profession within 5 years, and 25,000 unqualified teachers working in state schools and academies, our education system is floundering and is in urgent need of sensible reform.
In the run-up to the election, Education Guardian has arranged for readers to interview education spokespeople of the political parties. Is there a key question they seem to be avoiding so far? Do you feel they need to provide some evidence for their views? Ask whatever you like. First up is Samantha Pancheri of the Greens. Coming soon: other parties. Tweet us your questions using the hashtag #guardianeduGreens, or email firstname.lastname@example.org with GREENS in the subject field.
We can’t wait to see what you come up with … Questions by noon on Friday 30 January please. Over to you.