Wythenshawe’s Mike Kane has called for an overhaul of the schools watchdog, Ofsted, following a damning report by MPs.
The report, following an inquiry by the Public Accounts Committee, said there were “clear shortcomings” in the performance of Ofsted, which inspects schools and children’s services.
Among criticisms highlighted in the report are that it has completed fewer inspections than planned, it has failed to meet its targets for how often schools should be inspected, and schools are being left for longer between inspections.
Wythenshawe MP Mike Kane has praised Wythenshawe Community Housing Group and the fire service after cladding was removed from a tower block in the wake of the Grenfell fire.
Mr Kane said earlier this week he understood that none of Wythenshawe’s tower blocks were fitted with cladding which has been associated with the rapid spread of the London fire in which at least 79 people killed or are missing presumed dead.
In a statement, Mr Kane said: “We are all shocked by the terrible fire at Grenfell Tower. Our thoughts are with those who are affected by the fire, and we are grateful to the emergency services who responded so rapidly and bravely. It is vital that we get to the bottom of how this fire happened, hold those responsible to account, and do what is needed to make sure it does not happen again.
“Wythenshawe Community Housing Group responded quickly following the fire and have been working with Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service to ensure the safety of their tenants. They have inspected all blocks and where cladding was present this has been sent off for testing. This processes has identified an issue with some of the panelling on Village 135 and immediate steps are being taken to remove the panelling. However the view of the Fire & Rescue Service is that Village 135 is a safe building.
“I am grateful to WCHG and GMFRS for their swift response and the steps they are taking to ensure that residents are safe and have the necessary reassurances about fire safety in their their homes.”
Jeremy Corbyn visited Wythenshawe shopping centre after launching Labour’s general election campaign in Manchester, when he accused the Tories of holding Britain back.
The Labour leader was well received as he chatted to local people to get the party’s message across with four weeks to go to the general election when Mike Kane will be defending the Wythenshawe and Sale East seat for the party in four weeks time.
Among the dozens of people he talked to was Liz Curran, aged 63, from Peel Hall who was impressed by Mr Corbyn. She told the Reporter: “He seemed like a good guy. I hope he is elected for the sake of working people in places like Wythenshawe.”
Mr Corbyn arrived at Wythenshawe Forum in the party’s battle bus on Tuesday, emblazoned with the election slogan “for the many not the few”,
He said Labour would transform Britain to roll back attacks on working class people and highlighted the bedroom tax, the closure of Sure Start children’s centres and cuts in disability benefits introduced when Tory Prime Minister Theresa May was a government minister.
Labour has so far promised to ban zero hours contracts, stop parking charges at hospitals, affordable homes, a fully funded NHS and change an economy which is “rigged in favour of the rich and powerful.”
He said: “There is no doubt this country is being held back. If your children are not getting the education they deserve because the class sizes are too high, then your children are being held back. If you’re a young couple, anyone trying to get a home, and can’t make a home because rent and house prices are too high, then you’re being held back.
“If you’ve worked hard all your life, but you can’t pursue your dreams of retirement because you’re supporting your family well into their adulthood, then you too are being held back.
“Don’t wake on up on 9 June to see celebrations from the tax cheats, the press barons, the greedy bankers, Philip Green, the Southern Rail directors and crooked financiers that take our wealth, who have got away with it because the party they own, the Conservative Party, has won.
“We have four weeks to ruin their party! We have four weeks to have a chance to take our wealth back.”
Labour candidate Mike Kane said: “Jeremy got a fantastic reception from local people today and we now have 30 days to get our message across to return a Labour government on June 8.
Wythenshawe MP Mike Kane has warned of a crisis in Britain’s schools if the government’s education policies continue.
The MP, who is also Labour’s shadow minister for schools said there would be cuts of £2.5 billion to schools by 2020 with 92 per cent having their funding reduced.
Mr Kane made his warning during a parliamentary debate, saying average cut cut to primary schools will be £96,500, and the average cut for secondary schools will be £290,000. The average loss per primary school pupil will be £401, and the average loss per secondary school pupil will be £365.
He said the schools budget was protected only in cash terms, rather than in real terms, meaning it is at the mercy of rising pressures, pupil numbers and the impact of inflation on true value.
Mr Kane said: “We have a crisis in teacher morale, recruitment and retention, and we have scandal after scandal in academy trusts due to the lack of effective oversight. There is also chaos over the national funding formula and incompetence with regard to the testing and assessment criteria on a scale not seen before.
“It is a shame that parliament does not have the equivalent of Ofsted to assess the competence of the Government; if it did, the Government Front-Bench team would no doubt find itself in special measures.”
The Wythenshawe MP also attacked the government’s plans to expand grammar schools.
The policy has bee criticised because it is thought it will segregate pupils and favour those whose families can afford private tuition to get youngsters through 11-plus tests.
Mr Kane said: “Labour is obviously committed to an education system for everyone, not just a select few, and we will oppose this regressive policy of grammar school expansion every step of the way.
“The Prime Minister spoke about delivering for everyone, but what matters is what she does, and her actions reveal the government’s true colours: working in the interests of the few while everyone else is left behind; in one breath talking of creating a “great meritocracy”, and in the next announcing a return to grammar schools.”
But the Tory minister for schools Nick Gibb defended the goverment’s policies which he said includes plans to extend admissions to pupils from poorer backgrounds to grammar schools.
He said: “Since 2010, more than 1.4 million more pupils are in good or outstanding schools, and we have created over half a million new school places in that period, in direct contradiction to the last Labour Government, who cut 200,000 primary school places at a time when the birth rate was increasing.
“This Government are determined to ensure that every child has the quality of education that helps them fulfil their potential. That is the drive behind all our reforms over the past six years, and it is the objective behind the proposals to end the ban on new grammar schools and the restrictions on new good school places in our faith schools.”