I was appalled, not surprised, by the county council’s Luddite decision to withdraw its £80,000 subsidy of the education of our 2,800 brightest, most talented children, who, unlike some ruling group councillors, couldn’t attend schools with small class sizes.
This is a mean-spirited, short-sighted decision by out-of-touch politicians. They would leave gifted/talented provision to a charity that headteachers – who struggle to cope with other council cuts that distract them from education – had to set up. What a needless waste of effort and money, in the name of efficiency and financial prudence! The character in the parable of the talents that they imitate is the servant burying his coin for fear of his master’s rage if he doesn’t make it grow.
These politicians’ masters are council taxpayers. We will punish them for putting others’ potential at risk as a quick book-keeping fix, ignoring investment in the future. They can restore the £80,000 by cutting their generous salaries (‘allowances’), which in yielding good decisions are clearly a riskier investment than £29 for each gifted and talented child. Each of those children is precious. But precious little can be said for the wisdom and imagination of the director of learning and senior councillors unless they reverse this petty educational vandalism.
Dr J M Walmsley
Secretary, Mid Sussex Constituency Labour Party