Hands Up if you Want a Better Education System?


I’ve been surprised throughout this election at the lack of questioning during hustings and interviews about education.

With cuts being felt right across the county, we really should be more focused on this issue that we are.  I was tweeted tonight by a parent led group campaigning against cuts in school funding in Oxfordshire asking if I realised just how bad the situation was. 

At this point I’m the only candidate to reply.  But maybe the others will catch up later.

But playing catch-up seems to be the way for our education system, with a report coming out only a few days ago on the dire state of repair of some school buildings. As someone who went to school in the 70s, I find it shocking that we should have let our education system become so under-valued in such a short period of time.

My best friend from back in those days keeps in touch with me, and he has just retired as a senior head teacher.  He now does consultancy work for schools that are suffering under the same system he battled through.  Essentially the privatisation of our education system that does little to help students and puts a lot of money into the pockets of Academy shareholders.

The future of our children should not be for sale to the highest bidder, and we should not be seeing a situation where parents have to raise hundreds of pounds to subsidise books or pay for bus passes so their children can actually get to school.  Again, I remember free bus passes for school-children, but that seems like a long-lost utopia now.

We need an education system that provides opportunity to everyone. Schools that cater for all levels of ability and aspiration. The chance for everyone who wants to move on to further and higher education to do so without saddling themselves with a lifetime of debt.

We also need to value our teachers and educators, paying them a decent salary and ensuring they have fair conditions to work in.  Like doctors and nurses they are taken far too much for granted and expected to cope with appalling stress simply because they are dedicated people.

The Conservative’s promises of extra funding don’t come close to addressing the problems that have been stored up over the past 10 years.  Their so-called ‘extra’ spending amounts to nothing more than setting the clock back to the point before they imposed austerity on us all.

See the Green Party Manifesto by clicking here.  Go to page 55 to see our comprehensive range of proposals and policies about revitalising our education system and bringing schools into the 21sct century, whilst unlocking the potential of students and teachers at all levels.

A proper education for the next generation should be a priority for all of us.  Without that what kind of world are we building for our children and ourselves?


Planned Tory Education Cuts in North Oxfordshire Make For Terrifying Reading

EDUDespite claims to the contrary, the Conservatives will devastate our education system if they’re given another 5 years to do so.

Their dogmatic pursuit of so called savings (otherwise known as cuts) have already put the future of many children in jeopardy.

As with so many of their policies there’s very little left to cut now and faced with the choice of either reducing teaching staff or removing subjects, teachers and head teachers have had to resort to begging letters to parents just to keep some classes viable.

It’s an atrocious situation which, as usual, the Conservatives are in total denial of.  Claiming, as they always do, that they have put ‘record’ levels of funding into education (as they also claim for health and so many other important services).  But the devil is in the detail, with funding per pupil actually falling as class sizes increase.

Regardless of claims to the contrary in their cobbled-together, un-costed manifesto, there are more cuts to come.  But you don’t have to take my word for it, just look at the information available on the schools cuts website

These bare facts come from the people who know what’s happening to our schools.  The teachers at the sharp end of the Conservative agenda.  While these backward looking politicians wax lyrical about the good old grammar school days, our schools are being run into the ground and sold off to private companies to asset strip for a quick buck or two.

This needs to stop now.  Education is too important to be undersold, under-funded, undermined and treated as an optional extra in one of the richest economies in the world.

Read what The Green Party would do about education in government and then read below what you can expect from another 5 years of Tory rule.  The choice seems pretty stark to me.

KEY STATS FOR Banbury 2020

£5,526,507  in total cuts
Average budget cut to schools  = £115,13
Average budget cut per pupil = £346
Total number of teachers lost = 154


Banbury Academy   -£234,985

Bishop Carpenter Church of England Aided Primary School   -£24,837

Bishop Loveday Church of England Primary School     -£119,733

Blessed George Napier Catholic School and Sports College -£261,047

Bloxham Church of England Primary School      -£147,027

Brookside Primary School -£73,999

Bure Park Primary School -£132,153

Chesterton Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School        -£40,971

Christopher Rawlins Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School    -£67,460

Cropredy Church of England Primary School     -£60,654

Dashwood Banbury Academy       -£166,382

Deddington Church of England Primary School             -£73,626

Dr Radcliffe’s Church of England School            -£73,142

Finmere Church of England Primary School       -£21,030

Five Acres Primary School             -£100,258

Fringford Church of England Primary School     -£35,925

Fritwell Church of England Primary School         -£54,028

Glory Farm Primary School            -£94,195

Hanwell Fields Community School           -£433,772

Hardwick Primary School   -£72,049

Harriers Banbury Academy            -£90,134

Hill View Primary School    -£90,094

Hook Norton Church of England Primary School           -£79,293

Hornton Primary School     -£42,305

King’s Meadow Primary School     -£97,312

Langford Village Community School        -£118,724

Launton Church of England Primary School       -£62,507

Longfields Primary and Nursery School -£80,488

North Oxfordshire Academy           -£418,763

Orchard Fields Community School           -£124,646

Queensway School -£58,434

Shenington Church of England Primary School             -£34,053

Sibford Gower Endowed Primary School            -£17,582

Southwold County Primary School           -£126,712

Space Studio Banbury        -£76,148

St Edburg’s Church of England (VA) School      -£13,984

St John’s Catholic Primary School, Banbury      -£50,648

St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Banbury -£47,279

St Leonard’s Church of England Primary School           -£107,479

St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, Bicester       -£57,696

St Mary’s Church of England (VC) Primary School, Banbury -£56,436

The Bicester School            -£317,716

The Cooper School -£471,621

The Grange Community Primary School             -£109,691

The Warriner School           -£385,461

William Morris Primary School      -£83,950

Wroxton Church of England Primary School      -£20,078