Building Schools for the Future cut is a triple whammy for Brent

The scrapping of the revolutionary Building Schools for the Future programme serves as a triple whammy to the people of Brent and represents a false economy from Sarah Teather’s Education Department.

First and foremost, it is a cut aimed at the group in society who had no say in the election; children. Instead, the Lib Dem / Tory Coalition has rushed through the Academies Bill, advocating a ‘Free Schools’ policy aimed at schools already doing well and ignoring the issue of there being a shortage in school places in Brent, and fails to address the need to improve our failing schools. Every child should have the right and access to a decent standard of education in a respectable environment and the cuts will mean that children will continue to be educated in dilapidated buildings, unfit for the twenty-first century and that there will not be enough school places to meet the shortages.

Secondly, the building works programme provided an opportunity for stimulus in the building and construction trade. Many are still feeling the effects of the recession and the forthcoming VAT rise will increase the price of building materials, affecting profit margins and thereby adding greater financial pressure in the sector.

Thirdly, schools serve as community hubs. The scrappage deprives young people of decent standard activity centres. Schools buildings can be utilised by Local Authorities to provide after hour services for young people. Better standard building and halls also boost the commercial potential of the schools. Many local people use school halls for weddings and hire them out for private functions and parties.

The Education Department’s Permanent Secretary admitted in a letter to former Secretary of State Ed Balls, that the programme had Treasury approval and had not received any objections. We know there is money for our schools, after all, where will the money for the free schools policy come from?

Link to Article on LabourList

EXCLUSIVE: Sarah Teather WRONG that local schools in Brent were “deliberately led up the garden path by Labour”

After her Department stopped the rebuilding programme from the Building Schools for the Future programme, which as part of its roll out included several of our schools in Brent, Sarah Teather was very quick to place the blame on Labour Party and said that we made promises that we could not afford – LINK

This is WRONG! In a letter from the Permanent Secretary in Sarah Teather’s own department, David Bell, written to Labour leadership candidate Rt Hon Ed Balls MP, shows that all spending decisions for when Ed Balls was Secretary of State in the Department for Education Skills and Families were appropriately covered. The letter says that if any actions on this, or any matter were in breach of the requirements of propriety or regularity, the Permanent Secretary would have sought Ministerial Direction and it is confirmed that no such requests were made.

LINK TO ACTUAL LETTER – David-Bell-letter-to-Ed-Balls (courtesy of Left Foot Forward).

Labour Party’s Yvette Cooper claimed that it was women that would bear the brunt of the cuts that we will experience. I think she’s wrong. These cuts are targeted at children who can’t vote and therefore do not have a say or voice in being the victim of Sarah Teather’s Government’s cuts.

Ed Balls leaves Sarah Teather with a lot of explaining to do

Labour leadership candidate Rt Hon Ed Balls MP takes the theme of University Challenge to ask some uncomfortable questions to the Con / Dem Government Education Ministers, One of which is Brent Central MP, Sarah Teather.

Also highlighted was the two Education Ministers’ Oxbridge backgrounds with Michael Gove being referred to as ‘Gove, Lady Margaret Hall (Oxford University)’and Sarah Teather as ‘Teather, St John’s (Cambridge University)’. It will now be interesting to see if Teather now implements the same Tory policies that a few months ago she said they don’t have a clue about.