(Letter to the South Wales Evening Post)
We’ve been told that Daniel James School is facing closure because of falling pupil numbers and concerns over standards.
It’s more than possible that these two are connected and that pupil numbers are falling specifically because of the problems that the school has experienced in recent years. However, these issues have been recognised and with the school now in special measures and a new management team in place, there is every reason to expect that things will improve. Indeed, by all accounts they have already improved significantly.
On Wednesday (Evening Post, Page 2) Jeff Bowen, chairman of Swansea Governors pointed out that ” teachers here have much larger classes – and they are increasing.” This matches recent reports that show that class sizes in England and Wales are higher than anywhere else in Europe.
The closure of Daniel James School can only add to this problem, as will other closures and amalgamations in Swansea.
In their manifesto for the General Election the Liberal Democrats made a clear commitment to cut class sizes if they were in power. They are now in power, yet here in Swansea we have a Liberal Democrat administration that seems intent on making the problem worse across the city. Falling pupil numbers presents them with a golden opportunity to implement one of their national policies.
Rather than rolling over and falling in line with the Conservative led government’s cuts agenda, local Lib Dems should be sticking to their principles. What is needed is some creative thinking to transform our schools from a financial burden to a valuable community asset.
We need our local councillors to stand up for our children and our schools and find ways to keep them open and functioning, rather than reasons for closing them.
Keith M Ross
Green Party Assembly Candidate
South Wales West Region