Bradford needs urgent measures to deal with its education failures, George Galloway said today, “Which is why I am launching the Bradford Challenge later this month”.
The Bradford West MP is holding a public meeting later this month where education experts will put forward proposals to improve Bradford’s schools. Children’s services boss Councillor Ralph Berry has also been invited.
The city has some of the worst school results in the country – seventh bottom out of 150 local authorities for secondary schools, according to the latest Ofsted report, while more than half of secondary students and a quarter of primary pupils in the district are studying at schools judged to be not good enough. “This is an abysmal result for parents and pupils and it’s simply intolerable. It’s the same year after year. We keep bumping along the bottom educationally,” the MP continued, “and what we need is a radical improvement. And now. We keep getting reassuring words and promises from the council and education officials but these are empty ones. Families in this city want results, not platitudes.”
Galloway has set up a public meeting called The Bradford Challenge: make our schools better which will take place in the Prince’s ballroom of the Midland Hotel at 7pm on Friday 30 January. As well as an educationalist who was involved in the London Challenge, which transformed the capital’s schools, the head of children’s service Councillor Ralph Berry has been invited, as have other education and community specialists and organisations.
“I keep hearing the argument that it’s bad in Bradford because the demographics are difficult, that for many kids English is a second language,” Galloway went on. “But Tower Hamlets in East London has the same demographics as here and its schools are now among the very best, largely because of the London Challenge. That can happen here if we can bring the expertise and resources to bear and deal with the vested interests who have been content to preside over failure.”
The meeting will be open to the public. “I’m sure that concerned parents, governors, teachers and specialists will want to come along to express their concerns, hopes and ideas,” the MP said. “It’s open to all. This won’t be just a talking shop, I’m determined it will be transformational.”