Brighton and Hove City Council announced plans this week to close two schools and reduce places at others across the city.
It’s looking to close St Bartholomew’s C of E Primary School and St Peter’s Community Primary School.
The council cited dwindling pupil numbers and the need to cut costs for the measures.
After being accused by the Green Party of “making poor decisions without scrutiny”, the deputy council leader hit out at the previous administration as “politically immature”.
Green Cllr Sue Shanks said: “Labour must urgently halt plans to close these two schools in our city and commit to proper engagement with school heads, parents, staff and unions.
To give less than a full school year to consider the plans throws staff, pupils and parents into a state of uncertainty over the future of their jobs and education.
“It is telling that these announcements come after Labour ran on a local election promise to ‘keep schools open,’ and just months after they scrapped the cross-party, schools organisation working group, that saw all three political groups work together to protect the viability of local schools.
“Now Labour see fit to go it alone and are making poor decisions without scrutiny. We urge them to pause the plans, extend the timeframe for consultation, and engage all parties involved to explore alternative options and views.
“We would also encourage parents to respond to the consultation when it opens and in the meantime, to contact their local councillors should they share concerns about this decision.”
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Labour’s manifesto for the local elections in May said they would “use what money is available to keep schools open”.
Deputy Council Leader Jacob Taylor hit out at the Green criticism and defended the “extremely tough” decision.
He said: “What we inherited in May was a budget built on sand and too many difficult decisions kicked down the road due to a total lack of leadership by a politically immature Green administration.
“The fact that there are falling pupil numbers in schools is not new. The Greens were aware of this but they were incapable of making decisions and are clearly much happier throwing stones from the sidelines than leading a complex unitary authority and did nothing. This is yet another example of appalling mis-management by the Greens.
“Rather than asking for more pauses and delays, what are the Green’s Party’s proposals for reducing the schools deficit? Do they have any?
“We must act now and take these extremely tough decisions. Doing nothing and hoping the situation improves or goes away, as the Greens did, is not an option.
“In our manifesto we said that we would use what money is available to keep schools open and that is exactly what we are doing.”
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This notice was published: 2023-11-03 05:00:00