LETTER: Crucial issue for our children

Your letters
Your letters

I was interested in your recent report about a planned visit to Parliament by local MPs Messrs Soames, Herbert and Quin to see the Secretary of State for Education about the level of education funding in West Sussex.

I had a feeling of deja vu!

Some 30 years ago, I chaired the then West Sussex Federation of Parent and Parent Teacher Associations.

As well as trying to support the work and role of education in the county, we were also pushing for education funding in the county to be increased to at least UK average levels.

Indeed the federation’s work was mentioned in one of your recent 30 years ago reports.

It seems nothing has changed!

Our two sons both attended local state schools, receiving an excellent education allowing them to go on and study at Edinburgh and Oxford Universities respectively and have good follow on careers.

We have much to thank the dedication of the teachers at the local schools they attended for.

At that time West Sussex education funding per capita was in the bottom three in the country, whilst Cheshire, a similar shire county, was in the top three!

That positioning was wrong then as it is now; it denies opportunity to our young people. It needs to be resolved.

The consistent metric behind all this is almost continuous Conservative-run West Sussex County Councils and long periods of Conservative Government.

One can only conjecture that many Conservatives on WSCC educate their children in the private sector and fail to give sufficient focus to the needs of the 93 per cent who use the state sector.

But each child not educated in the state sector reduces funding to individual schools and the energy and commitment of its parents.

Let us hope our local MPs are able to address this crucial issue for education once and for all.

L.N. PRICE

Smithbarn, Horsham

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