Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Parents, governors and teachers put their concerns about education to Cllr. Robert Gordon at a consultation meeting organised by Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, on Saturday 19th January. A key issue was new plans for secondary transfer and particularly how it will affect villages like Redbourn, Breachwood Green, Kimpton and Wheathampstead.

    Robert Gordon, County Council Executive Member with responsibility for Education, explained how the proposed new priority area system should help the villages who suffered under the system installed by the previous administration. He promised to review how Breachwood Green would be affected and ask officials to evaluate variations raised during the discussion.

    Robert Gordon explained how the Government?s proposed financial settlement will still leave Hertfordshire schools under pressure.

    Peter Lilley said after the meeting:

    “The financial restraints in the coming year will make it difficult to reverse the deterioration in class sizes in the county?s secondary schools under Labour.

    “I have obtained Government figures showing that the ratio of pupils to teachers in maintained secondary schools has worsened every year since Labour came to power. The pupil:teacher ratio has increased from 15.7 in 1996 to 16.7 in 2001 ? in contrast to the improvement made under Conservative administrations. Tony Blair said his top three priorities were education but he has given us ?bigger classes, bigger classes, bigger classes?!?