A couple of years ago a Labour Shadow Education Spokesperson claimed that the Conservative Government had created a ‘vacuum’ in education, and had attempted to paint an image of an Education System in decay. This was designed to scare parents about their children’s’ futures.
The Conservative Party had changed the national curriculum to require schools to use phonics, where children are taught to read by learning individual sounds, and the opposition from Labour had been unrelenting: giving little thought to our children’s futures.
Schools had for decades been using the ‘look and say’ technique, a method that requires words to be shown again and again until they are recognisable, and Labour and the Education Professionals had been challenged by a Conservative Government determined to make real improvements. The facts now show clearly that Labour were scaremongering: new international test results show that the schoolchildren in England who have been wholly educated under a Conservative Government have the best reading skills in a generation.
I think I have spotted a trend. Every new policy announced by the Conservatives receives a torrent of abusive comments and criticism from the Labour Party, until they actually start to work – at this point the Labour Party move onto another topic and try to scare us again. Political parties that get elected on scaremongering are eventually caught out. At the General Election, Labour, both nationally and locally, weaponised education. It is now quite evident that not only have they been proved wrong on reading skills, but have worried parents locally with a botched attempt to redefine school catchment areas across the city. They will no doubt retreat back into blaming ‘Government cuts’ to deflect us from the real problem: the chaotic Labour administration in our City.
So, the next time Labour appear on the telly, or knock on your door, promising to solve every problem by simply ‘spending more money’, or moaning about ‘The Tory Government’, we could remind them that our children have benefitted from a Conservative Government determined to improve the lives of everybody across the country. The city will soon have the same choice to make.
Cllr Tony Janio is the leader of the Conservative Group on Brighton and Hove Council