Brighton and Hove Conservatives offer another lesson on education

Posted On 16 Apr 2018 at 2:33 am

Without giving it much thought, a consistent thread runs through my life – education.

Councillor Tony Janio

Starting with school, of course, college in London was followed by a PhD at Brighton Polytechnic.

After the Royal Navy, as an officer instructing “stuff”, I spent 28 years teaching the maintenance of flight simulators.

Only now, as the leader of Brighton and Hove Conservatives, have I “dropped out” of education.

I have previously described how the Conservative government required schools to use phonics, against instinctive scaremongering from Labour, and that those schoolchildren in England, wholly educated under a Conservative government, now have the best reading skills in a generation.

Enlightened Conservative policies always receive a torrent of abuse from Labour until they actually start to work: at this point Labour move on to another topic, trying to scare us once again.

Political parties elected on scaremongering are eventually caught out.

Locally, Labour is playing a similar game. But the real problem across Brighton and Hove is their chaotic administration of the city.

A few weeks ago I noticed that, as a new secondary school for the city would no longer be required, the Labour administration had £15 million of government money wallowing in the bank, available to deliver “basic need” school places, which the Labour administration had failed to notice.

I submitted an amendment to a meeting of the finance committee, requesting the children’s committee spend the £15 million on our schools as soon as possible: to address any future spikes in pupil numbers, fund a SEN (special educational needs) reorganisation and, crucially, solve the immediate problem of the “Misplaced 38”.

Labour, caught napping, came late to the party by attempting a “spoiler” amendment at the last minute. This would have caused chaos across the education sector.

Conservatives members agreed to a compromise with Greens, and eventually Labour (who in a rather bizarre twist brought along a political manifesto to the debate), and the problems of funding are now being addressed.

It appears that, in my new role, I have not lost touch with providing a good education for those that need it most.

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

  1. Noone Reply

    I’ll tell you something you can do, get your national party to fund schools properly

  2. Prudence Brown Reply

    At the 2015 general election Labour costed its manifesto promises and, in the main, looked to continue with similar spending cuts to the Tories. There wasn’t much between the two parties. The current Labour leadership are happy to offer all sorts of promises just to win votes but without having any idea how they’ll pay for them. We’re still groaning under huge debts as a nation and they could still cause us huge economic problems if a responsible government doesn’t manage both our debts and repayments properly. I don’t like spending cuts or austerity measures any more than anyone else but we’re not out of the woods, even though by and large I think spending on education is a good investment in our nation’s future.

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