Shadow Education Secretary, Tristram Hunt MP visited Oaks Park High School today to back a local Labour campaign for more school places in the borough.
Redbridge faces a deficit of 1,890 primary school and 1,650 secondary places over the next four years, prompting action from the Labour Council and a campaign for greater support from the Government.
Tristram Hunt visited Oaks Park High School in Newbury Park this morning with Cllr Wes Streeting, Deputy Leader of the Council and Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Ilford North and Cllr Elaine Norman, Redbridge's Cabinet Member for Children and Young People. The trio met with front line staff to discuss their experiences in the classroom, school pupils and head teacher Steve Wilks.
Tristram Hunt MP, Shadow Education Secretary said: “We have a shortage of school places across London and, without help from the government, places like Redbridge will struggle to meet the demand for school places in the coming years. I know that Wes Streeting and the new Labour Council are lobbying hard for funding to expand school places to give every child access to a high quality local school. That’s why the next Labour government will concentrate funding in places like Redbridge where it’s needed most.”
He added: "I was really impressed by my visit to Oaks Park and am grateful to all the staff and pupils who gave up their time to share their experiences and offer advice as I help prepare Labour's manifesto for the general election."
Cllr Wes Streeting, Parliamentary Candidate for Ilford North and Labour councillor for Aldborough Ward said: "I’m really pleased that Tristram Hunt has listened to what we’ve said about the school places crisis here in Redbridge. We’re proud of our local schools – many people want to live here because of the quality of education – but we need more places. Instead of wasting money on Free Schools in areas where they’re not needed, the Government should be prioritising areas like Redbridge. I’m glad Tristram Hunt has given us that commitment from Labour.”
Wes continued: "I'm particularly glad to have been able to showcase the excellence on display at Oaks Park, especially as an Aldborough councillor and resident. I'm working to get as many senior politicians to Ilford North as possible because I think it's important that they hear about how things are playing out in our community. I've worked in and around education throughout my professional life and I've never known morale in the teaching profession to be so low thanks to Michael Gove."