Parents, governors and teachers all know we are in the middle of a national schools funding crisis, even many young people are increasingly aware of it.
Only the Conservative government is in denial. So that is why it is difficult to accept some local Conservatives writing how ‘enlightened’ and ‘successful’ Conservative education policies are.
I put school success down to the huge commitment of our teachers battling away to support and educate young people, despite the many barriers put in their way, and the way our local schools support each other to be the best they can within the resources they have.
As chair of children, young people and skills committee, there are many challenges that I and council officers have to tackle, and not least over school admissions. This is a really vital issue for families and children. At every admissions round it is difficult to make the best and fairest fit for as many families as possible between their preferences and the places that are available in our local schools.
Under the Labour council and very hardworking officers, we are supporting our family of schools continued improvement, which many parents often acknowledge. Generally the admission concerns people raise are not about standards in our schools, but about travel time and opportunity to go to school with friends.
As the recent consultation over catchments showed, we do listen about admissions, and we take into account all available information, so that we can make decisions that are in the best interests of local children.
But there can be no excuse for glossing over the Conservative government’s growing school funding crisis, or their disastrous free school programme, which has wasted colossal amounts of money and time.
Locally we have some capital funding available for extra school places over the next few years, but this in no way lets the government off the hook about the funding pressures they are imposing on the day to day running of schools in our city, and on school budgets around the country.
Daniel Chapman is the Labour lead member schools on Brighton & Hove City Council.