Saturday, March 18, 2006

School closures: Trisha keeps digging...

The Conservatives are digging themselves in deeper by the day as they try to justify their daft school closures programme.

The latest nonsense comes from Patricia Bradwell, the Executive member of Lincolnshire County Council who is reported this week in the Lincolnshire Echo newspaper.

"Infant and junior schools have the largest number of surplus places in the county. We have listened to the public but these views have to be balanced against the whole of the primary sector."

You only have to look closely at these two sentences to see how utterly flawed her approach is.

First, the official figures clearly show that the biggest problem of surplus places is currently in the primary schools.

FACT 1: There are less than 2,000 surplus places in the county's infant and junior schools.

FACT 2: There are more than 8,000 surplus places in the county's primary schools.

That's why we need a county-wide strategy BEFORE any decisions are taken.

It is astonishing that Mrs Bradwell goes on to tell us that she has listened to the public's views (overwhelmingly against her daft plan), but the views have to be balanced against the whole of the primary sector.

The whole problem with her fag-packet scheme is that is is NOT balanced across the whole of the primary sector.

She has resolutely refused to tackle the challenge of surplus places by having a balanced approach, ie a county-wide strategy, rather than picking off a handful of vulnerable schools.

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