Alex speaks out in Education Bill Debate

Yesterday’s Debate on the Education Bill saw local MP Alex Cunningham speak out against the Government’s ‘elitist’ approach to Education and question the implications of plans to create ‘free schools’.

“The Secretary of State has a bizarre 1950s vision of education and thinks that our young people would be better off learning Latin instead of IT”, Alex said after the debate.

“He has a responsibility to create an education system that caters to all students but his ‘English baccalaureate’ sends the message that only academic subjects hold any value.”

“I am sick of others talking down our young people and their very real achievements. University isn’t for everyone and we must be careful not to make our young people feel like failures if they do not pursue traditional academic subjects.”

Alex also raised his concerns about proposals for ‘free schools’ including plans being considered for such a school in Ingleby Barwick. He said:

“It is important for parents to have influence over local schools but free schools will undermine local authorities. I am concerned about the impact that the free schools initiative will have across the Stockton Borough as communities and schools are pitted against each other. Conyers and Egglescliffe Schools – both excellent local secondary schools – rely on pupils from Ingleby Barwick to keep their numbers up. At least one of these schools serves children from my constituency and could potentially have to close if the Secretary of State were to approve a new school in Ingleby Barwick.”

“The Secretary of State is preoccupied with his structural changes to the education system which teachers and unions have opposed. He is neglecting his most important duty – to ensure the provision of the best possible education and training for all our young people, not just the most academically able.”