manifesto talks about greater choice and greater diversity. This will mean
people will have a greater diversity or choice of private companies ripping them
off when providing public services.
education plans talk of more independent specialist schools and new educational
providers. This means for a minimum down payment of 10% or less of the cost of a
city academy, educational providers such as big companies and religious bodies
can have an unprecedented say in the intake of schools and what is taught in
talk of more choice will mean more schools choosing which pupils they take
rather than parents being allowed to have the choice of sending their children
to a well-funded school.
mantra of 'education, education, education' has become 'disaster, disaster,
Disaster 1 Academies: Even by the very
narrow measurements beloved by New Labour Academies have failed, even in
improving exam results. The evidence that has come out so far shows that exam
results are deteriorating rather than improving under academies.
Disaster 2 Private Finance Initiatives (PFI):
A £340 million PFI scheme in Tower Hamlets came to grinding halt when
construction company Ballast PLC went bust in 2003. Dozens of schools built
under PFI could have a lifespan of under 20 years but local authorities will be
forced to maintain their PFI contracts.
Disaster 3 Class sizes: Last year
English primary schools lost 800 teachers who were not replaced and class sizes
increased. The pupil-teacher ratio in Britain lags behind all other developed
countries except Czech Republic, Mexico, Korea and Turkey. The average UK state
school primary now has 26.8 pupils compared to an OECD average of 22.1.
Socialist candidates are taking up the issue of the growing crisis in education
in their campaigns. In Leicester and Walthamstow our candidates have been
prominent in campaigning against city academies. A number of the
Socialist candidates are teachers who have to face the crisis day in and day
West Socialist Party parliamentary candidate Steve Score, who is standing
against Patricia Hewitt, said today: "The state of education in Leicester is a
nightmare for parents and pupils.