This week the Labour Party said it would make abolishing private schools one of its policies for the next general election. They also continued their attacks on grammar schools and called for the abolition of academies.
The policy decision to remove the charitable status of private schools and redistribute their assets to the state sector was made by delegates at the Labour Party conference in Brighton who want to see these schools integrated into the state school system.
This follows on from the Labour Party’s policy, which says that Labour ‘would not waste money on inefficient free schools and the Conservatives’ grammar schools vanity project’.
I wholeheartedly disagree with these draconian ideas which are unworkable, unpopular and quite surprising given the number of Labour MPs who have attended private schools and now choose to send their own children to them.
These ideas are a real risk to Dartford, where we have a thriving and diverse education system, made up of our four grammar schools, high-quality secondary schools and a UTC.
The idea of taking the assets of private institutions or shutting grammar schools and trying to find school spaces in the state system for the hundreds of thousands of pupils, who currently attend these schools, is irresponsible and incredibly expensive.
Our schools allow children to thrive and our current system recognises that our children are all unique with different needs. We should not be focused on a ‘one size fits all education’ system but instead have a wide range of choice in educational establishments, like we do here in Dartford. Parents are far better suited to decide which type of school is best for their children than government is.
As a former grammar school student myself, I would like to see more of these schools, not less, so that more children from all walks of life have the chance to obtain an education that best suits their needs.
This week, the Labour Party’s education policy has clearly revealed its dramatic shift to the left.
We pride ourselves on having a wide choice of high quality schools here in Dartford and we should protect this diversity and not undermine it.