Letting the Schools Crumble

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Posted by ComfortablyNumb | Posted in Comment | Posted on 26-09-2010

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Once again the state of Flintshire schools is in the news. Why am I not surprised?

A Flintshire school near you?Some years ago I used to be a primary school governor. A thankless task really, but at times rewarding. However, the school had to overstock on buckets because each time it rained the roof leaked like a sieve. Not exactly conducive to developing a modern learning environment is it? Patching the roof was money down the drain and came right out the school’s own budget and therefore diverted away from education.

Thankfully, the school now has a new roof. But, what a disgrace that there are children who went through that school not knowing a time when the school’s roof didn’t leak.

So now Flintshire County Council has a £40m backlog in school repairs.

Of course they blame someone else, anyone else bar themselves. Flintshire has always undervalued and under invested in education for years and years in my view. Even when the Labour government was throwing money at education, Flintshire chose not to pass it on. Pity the money wasn’t ring-fenced.

But, this all has a knock on effect and to me and it’s a major one. Education is the route out of poverty. If our Council has allowed our schools to crumble then obviously they are not too bothered about this universally accepted notion.

As I write, Flintshire children on free school meals are less likely to obtain GCSE grades A*- C grades than their more well off classmates. Micheel Gove, the new Education Secretary recently stated that, “rich dumb kids do better than bright poor kids.”

Recession or no recession, we live in a highly prosperous country. It is utterly shameful that class and wealth dictates educational outcomes. And it’s happening right on our doorstep.

The irony is that tax payer’s money is spent like a drop of a hat to install new CCTV cameras and locking young people up for minor crime and anti-social behaviour – ultimately the result of poor education.