‘There is no crisis in our schools’ says Sutton Tory candidate

ELECTION COMMENTARY: 500 head teachers from across the country have written to the unelected Prime Minister, Theresa May, to warn of the funding crisis her government is creating in our schools.

But according to the Old Etonian standing for the Tories in Carshalton and Wallington, such warnings are but “pointless hyperbole”. HARRY HAMILTON, pictured right, here provides a fine example of why politicians really shouldn’t be patronising towards teenagers

Matthew Maxwell Scott, the Conservative Party’s candidate for Carshalton and Wallington in the General Election on June 8, could not be a better example of how unsympathetic the Tories are towards the struggling public sector.

When I first saw Maxwell Scott at the general election hustings in 2015, he came across as a well-spoken debater and a person who cared about the local community. I was impressed, and I ranked him as the winner of the debate, despite me not necessarily agreeing with his politics. I thought he would listen and act on the concerns of residents.

500 head teachers say that there is a funding crisis in our schools. But an Old Etonian Tory election candidate says this is not true. Who to believe?

But after that election, in which he came second to the Liberal Democrat Tom Brake, it was clear that this was a mask, an illusion for the sake of the election. In February this year, Maxwell Scott commented publicly that there were “no cuts to education”.

I confronted him over this clearly false statement, and a long exchange followed on Twitter. Various statistics were put forward to disprove this false conclusion that all schools are absolutely fine and the only problem with our schools is the unions.

Despite all the articles presented, the response from Maxwell Scott to me was “there is no crisis”. To another Twitter user, John Reilly, Maxwell Scott said, “if this is just special pleading from a NUT shill then you’re wasting everyone’s time”.

Eton-educated Maxwell Scott could not be more wrong.

As a 16-year-old student about to take the my GCSEs (including the new ones created by Michael Gove), and with a mother who is a teacher, I encounter the growing crisis in our schools every single day.

Experienced teachers are leaving the profession en masse, some due to retirement and others no longer wanting to struggle to cope with current pressures.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies has charted spending on schools. But according to the Old Etonian heir presumptive to a baronetcy, there’s no funding crisis in our schools

My school struggles to find well-qualified teachers and resorts to hiring inexperienced teachers from abroad for short-term use via agencies. These teachers are usually new to the profession and so struggle to adapt, leading pupils to become alienated, which subsequently leads to pupils not getting the education they deserve.

Essential things such as work experience are being slashed, as our school simply cannot afford the insurance costs to give pupils this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This means students will be lacking in skills when it comes to finding employment.

There is no crisis in school funding. It’s all pointless hyperbole, apparently. Or just an Old Etonian Tory using his usual patronising tone

As the new GCSEs come in, schools need to buy new textbooks and resources to support their pupils. However, they are expensive, and my school is struggling to afford them, therefore students are missing out on materials that could help their education.

What happens in my school is no exception.

Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee says “funding per pupil is reducing in real terms”.

Schools will have to save £3billion by 2019-2020. Locally, Sutton schools will lose £12million by 2019, which works out at £419 per pupil. Sutton’s schools are also expected to lose 339 teachers in total. As one local headteacher has said: “We are close to crisis”.

Also, more than 500,000 primary school pupils are being taught in super-sized classes of 30 pupils or more. The more pupils in a class, the less their individual needs will be tailored to resulting in more pupils struggling.

With new, extremely tough GCSEs being introduced this year and next at secondary level, such reduced staffing for classes is likely to result in significantly less passes, and more pupils suffering from mental health problems.

Maxwell Scott demonstrating that he is an expert on wasting people’s time

Those are the plain and simple facts. Maxwell Scott denies these exist.

Now, I’m not encouraging people to vote LibDem, they have their own problems to cope with (#SuttonBinsShames anyone?), or any other party.

But I am encouraging people to stand up for our education system and confront those who wish to cause it harm.

  • Harry Hamilton is 16 years old and a pupil at a state school studying for his GCSEs. He is the acting Youth MP for Sutton

  • Inside Croydon is Croydon’s only independent news source, still based in the heart of the borough. In 2016, we averaged 17,000 page views every week
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About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
This entry was posted in 2017 General Election, Education, London-wide issues, Matthew Maxwell Scott, Schools, Sutton Council, Tom Brake MP and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to ‘There is no crisis in our schools’ says Sutton Tory candidate

  1. And yet, seemingly, the turkeys will keep voting for Christmas.
    Theresa ‘May do as I please’ stands every chance of being elected to power despite overseeing and sanctioning the crashing and burning of education, health, policing… But because she’s ‘Strong’ (her words) and anyone who says anything against her is a ‘saboteur’ and un-British she’ll get in. And the flag-waving jingoists in Daily Mail land will celebrate all the way.
    My daughter’s school has a budget shortfall of £250,000. The PTFA has had to buy essential Maths text books. It’s not a crisis, it’s a bloody disaster.

  2. My daughter’s school in Sutton has asked all the parents for money to help run the school. Her school is Carshalton high school for girls. If it is requested I will forward the email I have received from the school to any interested party.

  3. Not only are teachers leaving – or must be leaving – for the reasons given above but owing to disruptive behaviour in the classroom apparently sanctioned by the so-called Children Act that virtually forbids any teacher from laying a finger on a child out of fear of being prosecuted. Supposing the late Anne McGuire had defended herself against Will Cornick, who murdered her? The law would surely have come down against the late Mrs McGuire .

    So perhaps the NUT should be addressing this issue – instead of debating whether children as young as two should learn about LGBT issues.

    • And you’re an election candidate? Seriously?

      • Yes, seriously. Were I to be elected I would seek to have the Children Act amended to allow for teachers to take reasonable protection against both physical and sexual abuse. I hear of one teacher in Anglesey who was raped by one of her pupils: how comes she couldn’t defend herself?

        The law has moved too far in the direction of children’s rights – without children’s responsibilities.

        • Well, we all know that the chances of you being elected are nil. And we should probably be grateful for that.

          • So what would you do about the schools crisis?
            What would YOU do about teachers who are physically and verbally abused?

            Are you running yourself? I could still be elected one day , if not this year.

            I should also point out: despite the Children Act none of the late Jimmy Savile’s victims felt empowered to come forward to make allegations about him.

          • I should also point out that in no way am I holding that Act totally responsible for the problems within our schools – obviously there are others, eg poor parenting. The CPA believes in giving grants to couples contemplating marriage on condition of their attending parenting sessions as far too many people are entering into marriage without giving it serious consideration. The cost of marriage breakdown to this nation is £49 billion.

          • We’re quite sure that the people of Sutton will be very grateful for your £500 donation to civic funds.

          • Ooo, bitchy comment. Well at least I’m not the only candidate who’s contributing to civic funds.

            Clearly you’ve no answer to my points.

            I’m sure our party’s time is still to come.

          • Not bitchy. Spiky. There’s a difference which you’d be incapable of understanding.

            And no, we won’t be wasting our time answering your questions, because that would make it look like anyone’s taking you seriously, and that couldn’t possibly be the case.

  4. Resources for schools have not been spread evenly enough – possibly a cause of the current crisis.

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