Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Brent Education Question Time will tackle a vital election issue

I welcome the holding of Education Question Time at Queens Park Community School on May 26th. Education ought to be a central issue in this General Election with schools in Brent and elsewhere facing a substantial cut in funding which could lead to the cutting of teacher and teaching assistant posts, increases in class sizes, reduced resources and the narrowing of the curriculum.

This is not all - government policies and soaring house prices have caused a crisis in the recruitment and retention of teachers and schools are having to advertise for new headteachers several times over. The stress of high stakes testing not only hits teachers but also pupils with the mental health of our young people a particular concern.

It is significant that the Brent Central meeting has been organised by parent campaigners, teaching and support staff, all speaking with one voice about their concerns.

Beyond the immediate crisis are issues to do with nature of education itself: whether the government 'reforms' to the curriculum and examination system, are of any relevance to the rapidly changing technological world that our children are growing up in as well as the context of accelerating climate change and over-consumption. Does memorising for examinations contribute anything to the creativity, flexibility, teamwork and resilience that will be required in the 2030s and 40s?

You can find out how much each of our local schools stands to lose at this website LINK

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