Our schools are suffering under a Conservative government. Since 2015, funding to Stevenage schools has been cut by £5.4million, on average £347 per pupil. 14 primary schools and 4 secondary schools have seen cuts of more than £300 per child since 2015. (see https://schoolcuts.org.uk/)
The Labour Party in County Hall passed a motion demanding better funding for schools across Hertfordshire only months ago, supported by local Old Stevenage and Bedwell Councillors Joshua Bennett Lovell and Sharon Taylor.
Forced academisation started at Barclay where the school was removed from Local Authority school and taken over by Future Academies Trust. Labour councillors in Stevenage joined parents, staff and the community to fight this privatisation of the school at the hands of the Academy Trust run by Lord Nash, previously the Conservative Academies Minister in the Lords.
Labour Councillors have spoken out against forced academisation and have pledged to campaign against this assault on our local community schools. Conservative and Liberal councillors in Stevenage did not. Our Conservative MP Stephen McPartland did not offer parent campaigners any support and it is now evident that Mr McPartland himself met with Lord Nash to raise concerns about the school joining Herts for Learning Multi Academy Trust back in 2017. Soon after, Lord Nash resigned as Academies Minister and within a few months, his own Future Academies Trust was announced as the sponsor for Barclay.
The Labour Party is committed to ending the forced academisation and privatisation of our schools and educational services. Jill Borcherds, who will be the Labour candidate in Stevenage at the next General Election says, “As a teacher for the last 23 years, I have seen first hand the devastation of Tory cuts and privatisation agenda in Stevenage schools. As MP I would campaign hard to properly fund schools and bring academies back under local authority control. Teaching is a fantastic job but there is a recruitment crisis with many young teachers leaving the profession, burnt out by workload associated with accountability measures of the businesses that schools have become, focused on the bottom line of data. Labour’s National Education Service would get the focus firmly back on children and learning.”
Only Labour can be trusted to support local schools. We are the only major political party in the town to have demonstrated our commitment to defend state education from private takeover. Make sure to support all of our candidates on May 2nd so we can continue pushing for better services for our town.