Janice Atkinson for The Daily Mail
27th July 2012
The education sector needed a shake-up, and a saviour appeared in the form of Michael Gove. But if light had dawned at the end of the education under-achievement tunnel, it is quickly being extinguished. Mr Gove has been a tremendous breath of fresh air, championing free schools and allowing good schools to expand. But sadly this is all a waste of time because of Labour’s uncontrolled immigration explosion.
If you have a child of primary school age, what you are about to read will not surprise you, particularly if you live in London or the south east. You should be angry – very angry.
Nearly one million extra school places will be needed within eight years as rising birth rates and immigration push pupil numbers to a 50-year high. Is it any wonder when last year a quarter of all births were to foreign-born mothers who, on average, have 30% more children than British women? One of the biggest increases has been among women born in Poland, who in 2005 produced only 3,403 babies but in 2010 raised their output to 19,762.
So where are we going to put all these new pupils? The immigration boom has already pushed many primary schools to bursting point and forced town halls to draw up emergency plans. I can remember the outcry when children were forced to be taught in portakabins – now it’s disused shops and warehouses. One primary school in Barking is considering two shifts from 8am-2pm and 2pm-7pm because they cannot cope with the influx. If you are a working parent, how are you going to cope with this change?
We cannot afford this as taxpayers, we cannot afford this as parents and our children cannot afford it because their future well-being and education will be compromised. Our country’s competitiveness will be under strain because a generation of children will be treated like herded cattle and badly taught. Labour cry that we need immigrants to pay for our growing elderly population. But this generation of primary school children, based in the powerhouse of the UK that is London and the south east, will be educationally disadvantaged and therefore unable to occupy well-paid jobs to raise the extra taxation needed.
What of the Opposition’s position? You would think that young Twiglet, shadow Education Secretary, would be wary of criticism, seeing it was Labour’s policy of open-door immigration that led us to this sorry state.
They ignored the rising population threat and concentrated on secondary schools. So, it’s a bit rich when all he can come up with is a criticism of free schools. But of course, Labour is in donation hock to the teaching unions, the NUT and NASUWT, which also attack Gove because he is challenging their left-wing driven hold on our education system. A system which has failed millions of children, mostly in inner City areas.
I will end with some common sense: “We’ve been warning governments about this for at least the past five years … It was a serious enough situation even before the recession; now it’s even more acute, given that we’re in a mega debt crisis. Even if physically there were enough places, there would still be a big problem with the large numbers of primary school children who can’t speak English properly, for whom it’s a second language and not the one spoken at home. Already, teachers are having to spend a disproportionate time with these children rather than the rest of the class. But then, this is what happens when you have an immigration policy which is going to raise the UK population to 70 million within the next 16 years.”
Thus Labour’s Frank Field MP, who chairs the Parliamentary Cross-Party Group on Balanced Migration. But he’s dismissed by the NuLab metrosexual, right-on lot that comprises Labour’s frontbench. Our children will pay the price.