Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Education, Tristram Hunt MP, visited Tower Hamlets today joining Rushanara Ali, MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, and John Biggs, Labour’s candidate for Mayor of the borough.
Tristram toured one of the schools in Tower Hamlets that received money under Labour’s popular Building Schools for the Future programme which invested in new school buildings.
But now parents in Tower Hamlets are facing a schools place crisis with under investment in new schools and places from the Tory Lib Dem Government and a lack of action from Lutfur Rahman resulting in a shortage of school places in parts of Tower Hamlets this year.
And figures show admissions number are getting worse. More than 150 pupils in Tower Hamlets failed to get a place at any of their chosen secondary schools this year and 107 fewer pupils will be attending their first preference school - that’s a drop of 5.5%. Not getting a first preference, or any one of your preferences, can often mean longer commutes, broken social groups and a more challenging school life for young people.
Tristram Hunt MP today said:
“It was under the previous Labour council, working with the Labour Government, when the schools in Tower Hamlets were transformed from among the worst in the country to the most improved.
“But there is now a serious problem with a shortage of school places, which the current mayor in this borough has failed to address.”
Rushanara Ali MP added:
"Tower Hamlets needs John Biggs as Labour Mayor to work for all of Tower Hamlets and make sure all children in Tower Hamlets have access to high quality schooling regardless of family background, income, faith, gender or ability.”
John Biggs, Labour’s candidate for Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said:
“This year we have an important election. The Mayor of Tower Hamlets controls a £1billion annual budget. As Mayor of Tower Hamlets, I would prioritise education, training and skills and take urgent action to help schools create extra places where they are needed. I would also establish a Governors Forum to hear directly from schools what works and what the Council needs to improve.”