Wednesday, 26 June 2019
13 April 2011

Political Waffle Obscuring Serious Problem

Poor English literacy and bad teaching damages pupils' prospects

It is not often that I agree with former councillor, Geoff Howard, but his view that language barriers are responsible for the deterioration in Slough schools, resulting in a number being placed in "special measures" is absolutely correct.

On this matter, the Labour party must surely take the blame. Firstly, in 2004, its decision to open the doors to eastern European Union with the misguided belief that 13,000 people would come to the UK, when in actual fact a million people came to live here. Labour also opened the doors to those outside the EU.

The result is 6,000 people living in garden sheds in Slough (which Slough council has failed to deal with), failing schools and other overcrowded services. Even getting on trains at Slough station is sometimes a physical impossibility.

Secondly, in its years in power, Labour seemingly encouraged communities to segregate. Is it surprising that the London bombers were home grown? What hope is there for children to learn English when they are growing up in such environments? The inescapable fact is that the best jobs, professions and prospects in this country are only available to fluent English speakers.

My Indian neighbour, who has lived in Slough for many years, recently complained to me that the town is chronically overcrowded and that the life chances of his grandchildren were being affected by the lack of English being spoken in Slough's schools, while the town now resembles a slum with its third world shanty sheds and communist tower blocks without gardens or open spaces for children to play.

Sadly Labour's only solution to the education crisis was its ludicrous "Building Schools for the Future" programme, in which every secondary school in the country was scheduled to be rebuilt in a completely arbitrary fashion, regardless of whether a rebuild was required or not. This waste of money completely neglected to address the fact that education problems are more about language and poor teaching standards than about bricks and mortar as well as saddling the country with vast amounts of unnecessary debt.

While Labour is in charge of Slough council, I don't hold out much hope for an improvement.

Tristan Miles

Former Cllr Howard was first elected as a Labour councillor, then changed to the Conservatives, then changed to UKIP. He contested one election as the Jury Party's candidate. At this year's local election Mr Howard is standing as an Independent candidate.