George Galloway calls for action over 'appalling' school results (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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George Galloway calls for action over 'appalling' school results
Results in Bradford schools are among the worst in the country and the Government must introduce special measures to raise educational standards, an MP has said.
Bradford West MP George Galloway said a recent new education plan published by Bradford Council was “short on specifics” and education was too important to be left to “those who have manifestly failed pupils”.
Speaking in Education Questions in Parliament yesterday, Mr Galloway said the results in secondary schools across the district were the eighth worst out of 150 areas. He asked Education Secretary Michael Gove what measures the Govern-ment can take to “save” education across the city.
Mr Gove said the issue of education in Bradford was raised in the by-election and he would meet Mr Galloway to discuss what the Government “has in mind”.
Speaking after the exchange, Mr Galloway said: “If Bradford Council has a new strategy, as they claim to have, then they’d do well to spell it out in plain English rather than PR speak about, “tighter focus”, “better outcomes” and “governance arrangements”.
“In simple language, education standards at senior pupil level in Bradford are a disgrace. League tables aren’t everything, but they are the best benchmark we have about successful and failing schools. Out of 31 state-funded senior schools in Bradford, just five of them reached or bettered the national average for five A to C GCSE passes. That’s an appalling 16 per cent.”
But Coun Ralph Berry, who has responsibility for education across the district said the Council disputed Mr Galloway’s figures.
He said Bradford had its best A-level results last year, the district had some of the best nursery and primary schools in the country and many schools had very good Ofsted reports.
He said: “We are very clear about the ambitions and targets and how things have improved but need to continue to improve.
“The document has been worked on by everyone involved in education from all sectors, and it is a very considered document. It would be more helpful if Mr Galloway got to know the issues before belittling what is being done.
“The task in Bradford is for everyone to work together and raise the education outcome of all students, whatever background. I have been relentless in raising standards now in this role, but previously in opposition on the Council. We have got some of the most outstanding primaries and nurseries in the country.
“My door is always open if Mr Galloway would like to discuss how he can help us deal with educational challenges. I am saddened that he thinks berating a document produced by a full range of people leading education in Bradford was a good idea.”