Labour MP Stephen Twigg quizzed on curriculum

MP Stephen Twigg, Andrew Pakes and Emily Darlington with youngsters from Loughton School
MP Stephen Twigg, Andrew Pakes and Emily Darlington with youngsters from Loughton School

Education is all about statistics and the current curriculum is too rigid.

That was the accusation from a city teacher when shadow eduaction secretary, Stephen Twigg, came to Milton Keynes last week.

Mr Twigg was visiting Loughton School on Thursday when he was challenged by the teacher, who told him the current curriculum is too rigid.

The teacher, who wanted to remain anonymous, said: “We are forced to teach in ways and styles that we don’t believe in and it doesn’t help.

“When I’m trawling the newspapers and internet, I am just hearing a bland message. We don’t hear what Labour say and do, they are too vague. You need to say it louder so that you get in.

“Some parents don’t have the knowledge that we do about education. The more people find out about what the SATs agenda is doing, the better. It is awful for the children, we are hurting them with all this cramming for tests.

“It’s become all about the statistics, but not all the wonderful things our students are doing.”

Mr Twigg visited Rickley School, MK Academy and Loughton to talk to both students and teachers about the way the education system in the country is run.

And he was in agreement that the students should not be forced to learn only the main subjects.

He said: “I do believe in a National Curriculum. If you move from Milton Keynes to Manchester you should have the confidence that the school you join in Manchester will have broadly the same teachings.

“But how you teach it and what order you teach it in should be decided in the school by the headteacher and the teachers, not by politicians.”

He added: “It’s so important that we get education right in this country, and the only way to do that is to meet with the teachers, students and parents face-to-face to hear about their concerns.

“Milton Keynes is a thriving place and education here needs to be right.”

Mr Twigg was joined by MK’s Labour candidates Emily Darlington and Andrew Pakes.

Candidate for MK North, Ms Darlington, said: “People are believing this poisonous narrative that Michael Gove has developed.”