The council’s own figures show that by 2016, Southwark will be 690 primary school places and 300 secondary school places short of what it needs.
If you’ve got kids, there will be few things that are as important to you as their education. At the most basic level, you will expect them to have a secure, permanent place at a school near your home, but Southwark council is failing even on this modest measure. Recent figures showed that 197 primary pupils starting their school lives after summer were not offered ANY of their six chosen schools - a five year low for the council.
For secondary schools, Southwark is one of the worst areas in the whole country for allocating the schools that pupils have indicated they want to go to.
Labour-run Southwark Council has been complacent on school places, preferring to bury its head in the sand over the problem rather than deal with it properly. Labour councillors have opposed plans for new schools because they don’t like the types of schools proposed - preferring to put politics over the education of Southwark's kids.
The Liberal Democrats recognise how serious this problem is. Even in opposition, we’ve probably done more for school places than this Labour-run council has. In East Dulwich, where the situation has almost become critical, Liberal Democrat councillors have long campaigned for new schools to be built, recently helping to secure agreement for new primary and secondary schools in the area.
If we win control of the council later this month, we will get building more schools where they are needed and end Labour’s school places crisis.