The local elections on Thursday May 3rd will give us all a say in the future of Education and Children’s Services in Wandsworth.
Come and hear Jeremy Ambache outline the Labour Party’s ambitious plans for children, schools and families in Wandsworth.
Wandsworth Education Question Time is on Wednesday, April 25 at Balham Baptist Church, 21 Ramsden Road, Balham, London SW12 8QX from 7pm to 9pm – just 5 minutes walk from Balham station. Everyone is welcome.
Services for vulnerable children have been badly neglected under the Tory Council in Wandsworth. When Ofsted inspected them recently, it rated them as Inadequate. The Council has spent £14 million trying to put right these failings. So what difference will a Labour Council make for local children and families?
A Labour Council will campaign to defend local schools from disastrous budget cuts which are causing bigger classes, fewer teachers and a squeeze on resources. Wandsworth schools face cuts of £7 million by 2020.
School funding is controlled by national government but a Labour Council will stand alongside schools and parents in opposing cuts. The current Tory Councillors won’t do this because they support the Tory government’s approach. A Labour council will be on the side of children and families.
Labour wants children’s services in Wandsworth to compare favourably with the best in London – efficient, with great results and properly resourced. Residents deserve that. That means recruiting the very best staff as teachers, headteachers and social workers. And it means reversing the high turnover of staff caused by neglect of services. We want Wandsworth to be the employer of first choice for those committed to vital public services.
Wandsworth is fortunate to have many outstanding schools. They are led by inspirational headteachers and staffed with dedicated professionals. A Labour Council will always focus on academic success for our children. But we can do more. We want a broad curriculum, including cultural education, fitness and sport; as well as the personal and practical skills which are essential for adult life.
Young children are the future of our communities. Sure Start began as a simple, effective way to bring together services for young families (e.g. health, childcare and early learning) within a single programme. Labour will renew the Council’s commitment to Sure Start to give our youngest children the very best start in life.
Young people are our citizens of tomorrow. They achieve highly in our secondary schools. But opportunities for young people in the wider community (including music, sport, performing arts and volunteering) are patchy and uncoordinated. A Labour Council will work closely with young people to put this right. We want to see a proper youth strategy that’s as exciting and imaginative as our teenagers are.
Children’s physical and mental health is a high priority in a city environment. Growing up healthy is often the basis for other successes. Working with parents, schools and local businesses there is much that we can do to give all our children a healthy start. In particular, a Labour Council will prioritise healthy eating, clean air zones, exercise and fitness, and emotional health.
Finally, a Labour Council will reverse the Tory neglect of services for vulnerable children which led inspectors to call them Inadequate. We will prioritise improvement plans and ensure that Children’s Services are rated Good (or even better) under a Labour Council.