Stroud Life reminds us today that a decision from on high on the Stroud free school will be made within a week.
They highlight the objections made by Labour and others to the opening of the school, and in particular the threat to existing schools and the use of public money where it is not needed.
There is also a quote from an NUT spokesperson John Pemberthy who said “Personal choice should not be at the expense of many other parents who will lose their local schools and are adversely affected…millions of pounds wasted on free schools should be targeted where school places are needed. For parents that support free schools, it’s rather selfish.”
In the Stroud News and Journal this week there is a reply to my letter published a couple of weeks ago asking why the Green party has not supported campaigns against the free school as its policy states. The reply from Sarah Lunnon a Green Party councillor ignores their own policy to oppose free schools and instead criticises all the other political parties for their education policy. Just like all political parties, the Greens fail to step up, and they use spin to deflect attention from their own inaction.
No-one from the Greens has stated opposition except Chris Harmer here on the blog. Everyone else has simply ‘not-supported’ the free school bid. There is a difference, as I am sure party members are well aware.
Here are both the letters, mine first;
In view of the Green party’s policy on Education it is surprising we have not heard anything from them about the Stroud free school bid.
Their policy states the following;
“ED134 … the Green Party is opposed to creating more Academies and Free Schools and will support community, school and parent campaigns that share this aim. The Green Party will integrate Academies and Free Schools into the Local Authority school system.”
There are certainly campaigns locally against the school, but nothing from the Greens who enjoy considerable support in the area – apart from 1 comment on the blog.
On its website the Green party says it is in favour of cross-party co-operation so there is no reason why they could not join Labour in their campaign, or if they prefer, start their own.
Time is running out but it is not too late.
Local green party representatives have not been willing to come out in opposition to the Steiner free school plan, despite their insistence in principle that free schools are undemocratic and draw valuable resources away from other state schools. What could be the reason for this?
If the proposed free school was any other kind of school and not Steiner, we would surely have had the normally vociferous Green party keen to highlight its policy and show how they could help local people to rid themselves of this nuisance.
I would like to thank [name] for highlighting green party policy towards free schools (28/5/2014)
To repeat in a nutshell, free schools and academies are not Green Party policy and are not supported by Stroud District Green Party.
The Green Party (to use jargon) supports a “child-centred” approach to learning; building on the skills and interests of the child and would end successive governments’ obsession with testing regimes and rigid age-related bench-marking.
Thank you Labour, Lib-dems and Tory education policy.
The Green Party believes that state-funded education must be free from interference from religion and business, instead having democratic oversight and free access.
The Green Party is sympathetic to those who are unhappy with the current system.
We deserve innovative and creative education within the state system, providing children with a life-long love of learning and not the current educational strait-jacket which fails so many of our children, especially those from disadvantaged homes.
The way forward is to re-vitalise state education to free our children to learn and play.
Green Party Councillor for Stroud Central Ward.