Children across the Stockton area face being forced into a larger class sizes following the Government’s decision to refuse an application for a new secondary school in the Wynyard area.
Stockton North MP, Alex Cunningham, is backing parents who are campaigning for a new school, and has voiced his concerns that Wynyard and other children will be taken out of the borough – or the state school system – for their education because the Education Minister refuses to fund a secondary school on the estate. He has now written a second letter to letter to the Minister asking him to look again.
The Minister said the Government’s decision is based on there being enough school places across the Stockton-on-Tees area and said local schools like Northfield and St Michaels were expanding.
But, after making enquiries, Alex has discovered that there is no physical expansion at the schools which are increasing their placement number. They are achieving a greater capacity by increasing the size of already at-capacity classes.
Recent figures show that there are 32,914 more secondary pupils in classes of 31-35 and 3,160 more in classes of 36+, a total of 36,074 nationally.
I’m extremely disappointed that the Government has refused this application, and has done so in such a disingenuous way.
The Government points to there being enough school places, but these have only been created through schools being asked to extend their placement numbers. This means more children in ever-growing classes, which we know can be detrimental on children’s education.
Increasing class sizes is nothing more than a fudge to deal with the issue. What our children need is another secondary school at Wynyard and I’ll continue to press the Government – and the new Education Secretary on this.