Opinion – Labour scaremongering ignores the real lesson: children are being better educated under the Conservatives

Posted On 19 Jan 2018 at 12:15 pm

A couple of years ago a Labour Shadow Education Spokesperson claimed that the Conservative government had created a “vacuum” in education in an attempt to paint an image of an education system in decay.

This was designed to scare parents about their children’s futures.

The Conservative Party had changed the national curriculum to require schools to use phonics, where children are taught to read by learning individual sounds, and the opposition from Labour had been unrelenting, giving little thought to our children’s futures.

Schools had for decades been using the “look and say” technique, a method that requires words to be shown again and again until they are recognisable – and Labour and the education professionals had been challenged by a Conservative government determined to make real improvements.

The facts now show clearly that Labour were scaremongering: new international test results show that the schoolchildren in England who have been wholly educated under a Conservative government have the best reading skills in a generation.

I think I have spotted a trend. Every new policy announced by the Conservatives receives a torrent of abusive comments and criticism from the Labour Party, until they actually start to work.

At this point the Labour Party moves on to another topic and tries to scare us again.

Political parties that get elected on scaremongering are eventually caught out.

At the general election, Labour, both nationally and locally, weaponised education.

It is now quite evident that not only have they been proved wrong on reading skills but they have worried parents locally with a botched attempt to redefine school catchment areas across the city.

They will no doubt retreat back into blaming “government cuts” to deflect us from the real problem: the chaotic Labour administration in our city.

So, the next time Labour appear on the telly or knock on your door, promising to solve every problem by simply “spending more money”, or moaning about “the Tory government”, we could remind them that our children have benefited from a Conservative government determined to improve the lives of everybody across the country.

The city will soon have the same choice to make.

Councillor Tony Janio is the leader of the opposition Conservative group on Brighton and Hove City Council.

  1. Clare Reply

    Steady on there. I should think it’s at least half a century since children have been taught to read by just ‘Look and Say’. Fashions in education change, often, but a wise teacher will use lots of different ways to help children understand the written word. Phonics have been part of this process for decades, but that can only ever be part of the process.

    • Valerie Paynter Reply

      People educated before the 1960’s have a better grasp of grammar, spelling, composition and reading. It is a simple fact. Rote learning and phonics were the rule and no mobile phones in the classroom or freedom to let it all hang out. It wasn’t easy but it was more effective than the silliness that produced a couple of generations of illiterates unfit even for university and in need of tuition BY universities so they become able to produce an essay. Fashion is a monster.

      Bad teaching and excusing camouflage for it is just despicable.

      As for the kids….self-discipline is not taught by parents and the result of their largesse is horrible and inflicted with a sense of entitlement on schools and teachers. No wonder so many jack it in.

  2. SJ Reply

    Labour introduced phonics. Please address this error in your piece.

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