Cllr Gareth Roberts, Joint Deputy Leader of Richmond Council’s Lib Dem Group and their lead spokesperson for Education, Schools and Early Years Care has accused the Tory administration of pumping out misleading propaganda on schools.
In 2014 Richmond Council was named and shamed by the Department of Education as the ONLY borough in the country to still have reception children unplaced by the beginning of September. Vince Cable reported this in his ‘Report Back’ leaflet which went out to residents across the Twickenham Constituency.
Rather than accept there was a problem and apologise the Tories launched an attack on Vince through a council press release purporting to deliver ‘The Facts’ on the matter. They quibbled that Vince’s claim that there were unplaced children by ‘the beginning of term’ was factually incorrect. What they failed to mention was that term started on 2nd September 2014 and the last children were found places on 1st September.
These were families who had applied in January and still did not know where their children would be attending school until the day before school was due to start!
Cllr Gareth Roberts said "This is an absolute disgrace. Rather than admit there is a problem the Tories would rather smear and sneer and deliberately try to mislead residents into thinking everything is fine. It isn’t. Cllr Hodgins should be apologising to those parents who waited for nearly a year to find out where their children would be going to school and be giving an assurance to all parents hoping for a school place for their reception children in September that they won’t face a similar unacceptable wait”