Harlow Labour candidate offers solutions to teacher recruitment crisis in town
News / Sat 23rd Sep 2023 at 09:42am
THE LABOUR candidate at the next General Election has marked the Tories as “could do better” as the town faces a teacher recruitment crisis.
Chris Vince said: “The recent announcement that Burnt Mill School cannot recruit a French language teacher highlights the recruitment challenges afflicting our schools.
There is a school near Harlow where whole year groups have not had a Science teacher for more than a year. They struggle on with non-science staff covering lessons.
In another school, all members of the senior leadership team must take Maths lessons, whatever their own specialist subject, because they cannot find any qualified maths teachers to employ.
Schools are now so desperate for staff in core subjects that agencies are offering posts without interview.
Without doubt there is a crisis of recruitment, worse than anything ever seen in my lifetime. And the Conservative leader Mr Sunak’s response is to come out with plans for more maths and English teaching post 16. Quite where Mr Sunak expects to find the staff to deliver this is a mystery.
Our local MP, Mr Halfon is well aware of the crisis in recruitment, he is a Minister in an important position in the failing Department of Education. I know that teachers have written to Mr Halfon about staff shortages and teaching posts being offered without interview. Mr Halfon doesn’t respond in any meaningful way, he certainly doesn’t speak out to challenge Mr Sunak and support Harlow’s children. Let’s be honest these plans are nonsense, aimed at diverting attention from crumbling school buildings.
Shadow Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson says “Labour’s plan to recruit an additional 6,500 teachers and reform incentive schemes will tackle teaching shortages, and drive high and rising standards in our schools so we can break down barriers to opportunity for our young people.
Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:
“This crisis of recruitment and retention has got worse year by year since the Conservatives entered Government in 2010. Labour’s announcement is welcome; but such is the scale of Conservative neglect, there will need to be much more movement to change the negative direction.
If all this is factually correct, the proposed 'solutions' do appear somewhat woolly and vague. No details. No costings. No timeline or process. Very vague.
As Cllr Leppard well knows, the job of an opposition is to scrutinise those in office and to put forward proposals for when they are in government. Costings and timelines are announced in a manifesto, it’s a convention followed by all mainstream political parties. If Cllr Leppard wants to discuss woolly, vague and totally misleading matters perhaps he should consider starting with the recent disingenuous announcement from his leader in Downing St regarding the abolition of plans to tax meat, to enforce car sharing or to use 7 different waste bins. All plans that never existed in the first place!
Unlike our Labour opposition councillors, our primary focus is on matters pertaining to Harlow. Had Labour adopted a similar approach during their decade in administration of our town, they might be taken more seriously. Obvious omissions include: building virtually no council houses; neglect of housing and environmental maintenance; wasting £ hundreds of thousands of taxpayer funds on consultancy fees for projects that never saw the light of day and; allowing the town centre to degenerate into a pre- 1989 Berlin setting without a physical wall.
Cllr. Leppard you do have some front. With Potter Street lacking vital services and no prospect of that changing any time soon what solutions are you offering to your constituency and constituents?
Cllr. Leppard you do have some front. With Potter Street lacking vital services and no prospect of that changing any time soon what solutions are you offering to your constituency and constituents? Playing politics will be seen as such.
James Leppard, its all the cuts over the years . Not just schools, but colleges as well.. people doing twice as much work, because of cuts. People that had to leave, and did not want to leave.. this is under conservatives watch.
Gary Roberts and Kim O'Connor, with all due respect, you are both drifting off topic. The points I raised are factually correct with substantive supportive evidence. I prefer to resist the temptation to err off topic, notwithstanding your obvious propensity for such indulgence.
Cllr. Leppard, if you make such comments as, "Unlike our Labour opposition councillors, our primary focus is on matters pertaining to Harlow", then surely the topic is the future of Harlow and sadly in Potter Street [an area of Harlow] you and Cllr. Seales should as senior members of Harlow council actually be doing something to improve it. If you are then please tell me what you are doing.
You have got some front James Leppard. Theses cuts to lectures in our Harlow college, and to schools, Has been on your watch... And your watch only... A question I put to Mr halfon, which likes to visit there, but never mention s the lack of staff...
Kim O'Connor it might come as a revelation to you but Harlow Council does not administer the college or schools. I suggest you check the Harlow Council website to see what services are run by Harlow Council.
Gary Roberts. In Potter Street we have done the following: • undertaken major repairs to flats in Potters Field • installed posts to improve safety at the exit of Chapel Fields garage onto Potter Street. • Worked closely with the Residents Association to establish an allotment community hub. • Set up a petition with residents re the NISA store and had the planning application overturned. • Have secured major road repairs along Potter Street and Chapel Fields • Have improvement landscaping works scheduled for Prentice Place and Larkswood • Secured a sponsorship and roundabouts maintenance deal. • pressing Essex County Council to extend the 20 mph limit along Potter Street Please tell me what Labour did in Potter Street over 10 years
Gary Roberts, P.S. last week, approved the application for the construction of 5 new council homes at a disused site in Pytt Field.
I have no brief for the Labour party. Did you forget the real issues: the restoration of council services in a building empty for over 20 years and reopening of Osler House to provide many needed services such as medical provision. And what about a local bus service.
Cllr. Leppard, "5 new council homes" When? Remember the sites at Staple Tye were supposed to be council homes but sadly they are still derelict areas and have been for years. All you have to do now is build them and then approve the motion to stop the right to buy council homes. It wont happen, will it?
James Leppard, theses cuts were made by your government. Your a Conservative Councillor are you not.. Theses cuts made by this government. So don't get flippant.
James nisa still open and trading. 20 mph speed limit not working as cars speed up and down Potter Street. Don't care roundabout's are sponsored. How about stopping car parking on the path so people don't have to walk in the round.
Gary Roberts , both council house projects at Staple Tye and Pytt Field were approved at Planning Committee last Wednesday. Work will start shortly.
Labour's promises of more teachers needs to balanced against Labour's shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves "employing Tory policies to deal with a Tory crisis". Listen to Rachel Reeves flounder in a LBC interview from a fortnight ago at https://youtu.be/bB8nxjmulN4?si=5bDsYcPW3C45Ptnd
I know first hand, that theses lecturer s did not want to go... this government have made cuts left right and centre, putting more and more pressure on theses teachers... they cope only because there dedicated... But it doesn't make it right... They worked all through pandemic, from morning till night,, I know this first hand...... And yet like the nurse s and doctors, have to fight and fight hard for a pay increase.... is it any wonder that theses people fill under valued, is it . There priority, focused in the wrong direction... This is conservatives for you.