A Labour motion was passed at full council, 21/09/2016, condemning Tory Government policy on Education that aims to re-introduce grammar schools and make all schools academies. Lewisham Labour has called for a change in education policy that focuses on closing the achievement gap and wellbeing of children.
The Tory Government Green paper “Schools that work for everyone”, published on 12 September, puts forward proposals that aim to bring back selective education, including removing the 50% cap on Faith school selection. This is in addition to existing proposal to make all schools academies.
Cllr Luke Sorba, proposer of the motion, commented “This Tory government seems fixated on changing school structure and governance, and seems to want to remove the role of local authorities. Their most recent proposal will create a two-tier education system which segregates children at the age 11. There is no evidence these approaches will improve standards, especially in the most deprived areas, and could even make it worse.
“This government needs to start focusing on closing the gap in achievement linked to race, gender and socio-economic class. This can only be done by adequately funding schools and focusing on recruiting sufficient teachers and support staff. London authorities have proved this approach can work.”
Cllr Hilary Moore, Chair of the Children & Young People Select Committee, said “It is clear from the experience across London, if the right resources are put into schools, you can improve the achievement of all. We need to focus on creating a fully comprehensive system that nurtures both academic potential and well-being of children. We have to recognise the importance that interaction between the child and the teacher makes, not become preoccupied by top-down institutional reorganization.”