Government plans for choice

15 Mar 2006

Speaking during the second reading of the Education and Inspections Bill, local MP Tim Farron labelled the Governments' proposals for creating choice in rural communities a nonsense. Tim also branded the bill as an 'urban bill' which ignored many of the issues faced by parents and pupils in South Lakeland.

Speaking during the debate in the House of Commons Tim said:

"Choice in education is important, but choice between different schools is a laughable nonsense to those of us living in rural communities.

"John Ruskin School in Coniston in my constituency is an excellent secondary school. And it's a good job that it is, because if you lived in Coniston but wanted to take up the Government's promise ….. that choice would come at the cost of a daily twenty mile round trip along narrow country lanes interspersed with a couple of ferry crossings."

Speaking after the debate Tim said:

"The teachers and parents I've spoken to stand perplexed in response to the Government's celebration of choices which simply don't exist.

"This Bill concentrates on structural change - much of which is pretty unnecessary, some of which is downright unhelpful - rather than really improving standards, so that's why my colleagues and I will oppose it."