Hastings and Rye election candidates to be quizzed by school leaders

The Hastings and Rye election candidates attending tonight's meeting
The Hastings and Rye election candidates attending tonight's meeting

School leaders across the Hastings and Rye constituency will be asking the General Election candidates to outline their priorities for schools and colleges.

The event, held at The White Rock Hotel, will be attended by Conservative Sally-Ann Hart, Labour’s Peter Chowney and Liberal Democrat Nick Perry.

The aim of the evening is ‘to put education at the top of the political agenda’ in Hastings and Rye.

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said: “Although we know that this election is motivated more by the European agenda than the domestic one, votes cast purely in respect of Brexit will ignore some of the most pressing issues that schools and colleges face.

“Whatever challenges or opportunities the future holds as a result of Brexit, we can be certain that investing in the next generation will be the best way to guarantee our future success. We want to hear from the candidates contesting this seat about their plans for education.”

The event will be held from 7pm to 9pm tonight (December 3) at The White Rock Hotel, Hastings.

Dr Hildi Mitchell, NAHT South East regional secretary, said: “Heads at schools throughout the South East of England are disappointed that Brexit has dominated politics, distracting attention from the need to address education funding. Funding for nurseries, schools and colleges is vital. The next generation cannot afford for this to be a one-issue election. Children only get one chance at their education and we have a duty to ensure that they get a world class one.”

The candidates will each be asked their views on the top five priorities for schools and colleges at this election. These include: a fully and fairly funded education system where the real-terms cuts since 2010 are reversed and there’s guaranteed long term investment; great teachers and leaders in every class and every school with the support, development and reward to sustain a career in education; proportionate, reliable and fair inspection that schools and parents can have confidence in; a broad and balanced curriculum available to all pupils that gives children and young people different ways to show what they can do and properly prepares them for life; and timely and effective support from the services that children and families rely on so that all pupils get the help they need and achieve their potential.