Harlow Labour boss on Robert Halfon “his lack of experience in the field of education is so glaringly obvious”

Education / Fri 12th Nov 2021 at 03:47pm

THE leader of Harlow Labour has criticised local MP Robert Halfon over mental health provision in schools.

Councillor Chris Vince said: “Whenever the MP for Harlow comments on education I try to resist every urge to respond, but once again his lack of experience in the field of education is so glaringly obvious, I felt I had to.

“First of all, Mr Halfon speaks as though there were no mental health issues in our country’s schools before the pandemic. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Anyone who has worked in a school will know how the pressure and stress off exams and unrealistic targets manifest in tears and emotional outbursts.  Now the issue of exam stress is not a new one but with more and more pressure being put on schools to get higher grades by the government it is certainly something that is getting worse.

“Mr Halfon also states that children shouldn’t be just doing ‘an extra couple of hours of algebra’.  Ironic considering under his government we have seen a narrowing of curriculum resulting in a lesser focus on those subjects related to the arts, and children being forced to do more and more hours of Maths. 

As a former Maths teacher myself, even I think they need to do a range of subjects and not just focus on Maths and English.  Strange that Mr Halfon suddenly sees the value of providing subjects outside of Maths to overall academic attainment, after all, where was

“Mr Halfon when his colleague Mr Gove implemented an ideological agenda into our schools which narrowed what subjects students were doing? That’s right, once again he was towing the party line.

Through proposing that the time spent on sports, music and drama be provided by extending the school day through civil society organisations, Mr Halfon is continuing to propose that charities plug the holes that his government has created. Where does it end? 

“It is Mr Halfon’s government that have had 11 years to tackle the inequality in mental health services.  Over that time provision has got worse not better – not only in our schools but for our society as a whole.

“It seems that Mr Halfon is echoing the Labour shadow education secretary Kate Green MP’s proposals from the recent Labour Party conference – it is of course right to say that young people do need better mental health provision in schools. However, Kate Green MP took this further and also recognised the need to provide students with a more rounded curriculum. 

“This generation have been badly let down by the Conservative government, experiencing a narrowed curriculum and mounting pressure, however it doesn’t have to be this way. 

“The next Labour government will invest in young people’s mental health and ensure young people truly have the best opportunities to succeed doing the subjects that they can most excel in”.

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3 Comments for Harlow Labour boss on Robert Halfon “his lack of experience in the field of education is so glaringly obvious”:

Michael Hatton
2021-11-13 08:07:03

Sir, The leader of the F I M brigade in Harlow is again completely out of touch regarding schooling to-day. Children will always consider that exams etc, bring stress, and they always will. Part of a teachers remit is to try and prepare pupils for these events, so, if the child fails whose responsibility is it ?, and, like most of that ilk teachers never take it, they only criticise the government for lack of this and that and more. Chris Vince baled out because his method of teaching wasn't up to scratch and he certainly isn't capable of leading the Harlow socialist brigade. In his rant, a prime example of his ineptitude is glaringly obvious, mistaking ' towing foe toeing ' ! I'm certain that plenty more examples of his lack of care of basics will be proven again and again.

Pauline S
2021-11-13 17:06:17

Although I may agree on some aspects of what C V says (and I don't know his CV! ) he is being unfair on our MP, presumably because he is looking to find faults. We all have our faults - some more than others - but overall Robert Halfon had been a 'good' MP. Nor am I a Conservative!

David Forman
2021-11-13 18:27:15

Chris Vince says "The next Labour government will invest..." My questions to Chris are: 1. How much money? 2. Where will a Labour government get the money from? 3. How will the money be applied and in what categories? 4. Following this investment what will be the overall pupil to teacher ratio in England and how will it compare to 2011? 5. What will be Labour's target for England in the EU rankings for pupil to teacher ratio? 6. Given that that the 2018 TALIS teacher survey conducted by the OECD reported a deterioration in class time spent on teaching and learning in England compared to 2013, what will Labour's target percentage be for a future TALIS survey? 7. Given that TALIS 2018 stated "25% of school leaders reporting a shortage and inadequacy of digital technology for instruction as a hindrance to providing quality instruction," how much money will a future Labour government spend on digital technology in schools and what percentage increase will this be on 2019? This should not be too difficult for a former maths teacher and it will help to inform Joe Public what Labour hopes to achieve in Education.

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