Monday, February 26, 2024

Tory spokesperson slams “Devastating” Ofsted report on primary education in Thurrock

A LEADING Conservative councillor has reacted angrily to the Ofsted annual report which has placed Thurrock, third from bottom in the country.

Shadow spokesperson for education, cllr James Halden said: “This is a devastating report slamming Thurrock for being the third worst council in the country.

“Thurrock Council is just in denial. They are constantly saying we are doing well and we have a good relationship with local schools, yet 8 out of 10 secondary schools have left local authority control.

“Since becoming my groups lead member in May, I have been in over half of our schools to talk about the benefits of being free from the council. This report just goes to show that we have been right all along.”

“It is the Conservatives who have been attacking this “Thurrock shrug”. If there is one thing it proves, then it is that Labour are asleep at the wheel.

“It is time they woke up. We are in the bottom three councils for primary education in the country.

“I call on Labour to back our plans for school freedom, that he has been blindly opposing for too long”.

Asked if he thought, the Gateway Learning Community model, may be a way forward for primary education, cllr Halden said: “Of course. Supply and demand is the reality with parents in terms of wanting the best schools.

“It is sharing high quality teaching across a spectrum of schools within the community. Look at how Gateway is helping primary schools, with the aim of preparing them for year 7.

“Many schools are sending teachers from secondary into year 6 to help that the transition. It is what we need in a area that’s the third worst for primary education.

“Sending subject teachers to where they need to be in younger years to raise standards is a best practice example of what the independent sector has been doing for years.


  1. Thank goodness someone knows what they are talking about, good on you Cllr Halden, your ability to lead the way is most impressive. No wonder Thurrock primary schools are the third worst in the country when those such as Cllr Garrish seem to slack and have little or no comprehension of what his job title means. Could someone please relieve him of this position for the sake of the Thurrock children.

  2. It would be interesting to see the timeline on Performance for schools in Thurrock over the last 10 years. Have they always been rubbish or have they got steadily worse. Looking at one report is pretty meaningless.

  3. At last a local Councillor that has their finger on the pulse of the education in the borough, obviously the Labour leaders and the people who follow them will hit back with their excuses again but there is no denying that the standards in the borough have slipped year on year and nothing has been done to stop this slide.

  4. First prize for political spin and blatant hypocrisy must go to Cllr Halden.

    Under the previous Conservative run Thurrock Council only only 33% of pupils attend a primary school in Thurrock, which has received a good or outstanding Ofsted report.

    This figure has increased to 49% under the current Labour administration.

    Cllr Halden is an utter hypocrite attacking Labour when the Conservative record was worse.

    Is he ignorant of the Conservative record or does he hope his attempt to grab some column inches in the press nobody is going to examine his parties record when they ran the Council?

    As for schools leaving local authority control – this exodus started under the previous Conservative administration.

    There are lies, damn lies and statistics and the spin and hypocrisy of Cllr Halden.

  5. Ed_ you realyy dont get the point do you? it is of no consequence as to who is in power and who did what, when they were in power. Thuroock is 3rd worst in the country for primary pupils attending a good school, we ned to do something about it now, the councillors spin as you call it is factually correct and shows a need for the current portfolio holder to pull his finger out and act NOW!

  6. Lets remember that Labour politics is not about acheiving your best and aspiring to be something…..its about allowing people to become stuck in the same position and it starts early with poor education as this means less life chances, more state dependancy and hopefully more Labour votes.

    Cllr Halden is correct in everything he has said.

  7. He is still a hypocrite. The Conservative record when they lost control of Thurrock Council was a mere 33%. Or two thirds of schools. The record under Labour is still bad at 49% or half of schools but still a vast improvement from where Thurrock;s schools were just two years ago.

    For a more accurate record we should have the figures for the last eight years to show if things got worse or have improved over the past two years.

  8. Ed. You are sadly missing the point.

    Chickenfeed answers you perfectly. It would be good to have a look at the stats but i’d go back longer than 8 years to at least the mid 90s to see when certain schools started failing or coasting.

    And I also think 49% is low as well. So still under half of Thurrock’s primary schools are poor. Great acheivement.

  9. Sorry to say we are back to the position of the late 1990’s though education records were not readily available most secondary school heads voiced grave concern at the poor reading and writing skills of 11 year old with consequences of catch up having on resources and budgets. Politiand need to deal with issue now and stop point scoring. The simple fact is we are placing our Borough youth in a terrible position to deal with the harsh realities of the adult competative world.

  10. Catch up education has been done very well in Thurrock but the effort utilised could be used more efficiently if the 4 to 11 year old eduction system was radically overhauled. Reading / Writing / Maths. The problem in Thurrock is there a desire from parents for such a change and can the budgets cope. I sadly think not.


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