A Growing and Learning City
Labour’s education and youth manifesto
We are rightly proud of our schools and children’s services in Brighton and Hove. By encouraging close joint working between our family of schools, we have ensured that results are strong.
Despite swingeing Tory education cuts, 93% of our schools are rated good or outstanding, attainment for children in care is well above the national average and we are one of the few cities to provide free swimming for under 16s.
For every pound spent on youth services, £8 of public spending is saved elsewhere. Labour are committed to listening to our city’s young people and providing the best youth services.
We will improve and maintain services and education to children and young people with the aim of being the best local education authority in the UK.
The Labour Minority Council has:
- Stopped academisation of any local schools since 2015.
- Secured a new primary school at West Blatchington.
- Ensured social workers in children’s services are in-house, and for the first time achieved a ‘Good’ rating by Ofsted for children’s social care
- Reduced the reliance on agency social work staff by improving staff retention and modernising workplaces.
- Ensured all secondary schools are rated ‘Good‘ by Ofsted, and 93% of schools overall are rated good or outstanding.
- Increased delivery of in-house foster care for looked after children.
- Provided enhanced support for care leavers.
A Labour Majority Council will:
- Introduce a programme to end the attainment gap for disadvantaged children.
- Support our children’s centres and local authority nursery schools.
- Extend and continue the successful ‘Every Child a Reader’ programme and introduce the ‘Every Child a Counter’ programme.
- Fully audit children’s services against the expectations of the ‘Every Child Matters’ programme.
- Establish a Local Education Board representing the City Council, schools, youth services, post-16 and higher education providers with a view to coordinating and improving local provision, practice and opportunities for residents.
- Protect and build on our successful ‘Family of Schools’ and oppose further privatisation of our schools to academy status, including running parental and staff ballots where necessary.
- Do everything within the power of the council to protect and improve provision of Special Educational Needs services and other centrally delivered support for schools.
- Work with partners to recognise and develop the role of arts, music and cultural learning within our schools.
- Apply the highest standards of safety management in schools and work with parents, unions and industry to lobby central government to provide the necessary funding for the safe removal of blue and brown asbestos as soon as possible.
- Encourage the best teachers and education professionals to work in our city by introducing a Workload Agreement to give teachers and professionals more time to teach.
- Re-introduce a local authority supply teacher service, saving schools thousands while ensuring the best teaching for our city.
- Commit to providing support for the opening of two Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) Centres.
- Continue to campaign for adequate funding for our city’s schools and children’s centres including highlighting the impact of central government spending cuts.
- Review the provision of youth services across the city to improve coordination, establish a central hub and deliver services directly where possible. Work to ensure that transition services are fully established and integrated.
- Give young people themselves a stronger voice in the future of youth services.
- Conduct an urgent audit of the council’s own properties with a view to providing low cost or free access for local partners offering quality youth services.
- Ensure that sexual health services and mental health support are delivered at youth centres across the city.
- Continue our extensive services for children in care and bring more foster care services in house, offering greater continuity to children and young people.
- Ensure that out of school services for children with learning and/or physical disabilities are maintained and supported.
- Promote the benefits of being a university city and strengthen our links between students and residents.
With a Labour Government we could:
- See funding for education and youth services returned to pre-2010 levels.
- Participate in a National Education Service, where lifelong learning and opportunity for all is a priority from early years through to adult education and free at the point of use.
- Build and run our own city schools.
- Remove the stress of excessive testing on our children, focusing on quality of learning rather than quantity of testing.
- Stop the harmful academy and free school programmes, bringing all schools back into a single ‘Family of Schools’ approach.
- Broaden the curriculum to prioritise skills and learning for the 21st century.