Concern over education cuts hitting Uckfield pupils

Concern about the way education funding cuts will affect Uckfield pupils has been raised by town councillors.

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Uckfield Mayor Cllr Louise Eastwood.

Mayor Cllr Louise Eastwood, Trust Independent, North, said she was well aware of what parents now had to pay for to assist schools because her own children attended the town’s community college.

She was also aware options had been removed because of funding cuts coming in and she felt the town council should take action.

“I have listened to people and am fully aware. I know our secondary and primary schools are going to suffer just as much.”

Earlier in the meeting Cllr Diane Ward, Trust Independent, Central, asked county council representative for Uckfield Cllr Claire Dowling, Conservative, Uckfield North, what was happening.

“The government tell us money has been reinvested and they are spending more than they have previously. That may be what they say, but at grass roots level if you speak to our head teachers this isn’t happening.”

Cllr Ward was concerned about the 1,000 new homes coming to Ridgewood Farm and about where children from there would go to school when there were very few places available now at Uckfield Community Technology College.

“Places like Ringmer do have places but if I had a child in the secondary education age I wouldn’t want to send them to that school. It is not at the standard ours is.”

Teachers lost

She told Cllr Dowling that when people were spending the amount of money they were because schools hadn’t got resources, and options were removed and teachers lost, the councillor should go back and ask for that money be put into place.

Cllr Dowling agreed there wasn’t enough money for schools and said the county council had gone back to the government saying what had been proposed wasn’t good enough and they needed to re-think.

She added: “That re-think is under way. There aren’t enough resources for lots of things and education is one of them.”

Concerns

Cllr Eastwood said town councillors should be trying their best to be proactive in doing something and suggested writing letters to Wealden District and East Sussex County councils, to MP Nus Ghani and to the government education secretary to explain concerns.

She said she had invited Nus Ghani to the full town council meeting but had heard nothing in response.

Cllr Paul Sparks, Liberal Democrat, Uckfield North, suggested the town council might have more success if it invited Bob Standley, leader of Wealden District Council and lead member for schools at East Sussex County Council, to a meeting.

Future

Cllr Dowling said the MP was on holiday but it was a good idea to invite both Cllr Standley and Nus Ghani to a future meeting.

She added that she didn’t think a full council meeting was the right format but a meeting with Uckfield councillors to discuss education in Uckfield would be the way to get them there.

Councillors agreed letters should be sent and an invitation issued.

See also:

Plans to buy back previously sold Wealden council houses

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