Meeting with Nick Gibb, the Government’s Minister for Schools, Imran committed to working to bring a better educational settlement to Bradford.
Following August’s Ofsted report into Bradford, Imran met with Nick Gibb MP, the Minister for Schools at the Department for Education on Wednesday, where he raised the numerous problems that face Bradford’s education system and sought the Government’s assurances that action would be taken at the highest level to resolve them.
Bradford has some of the lowest performing schools in the country and faces what Imran describes as a ‘school places crisis’ with neither enough classroom capacity to educate Bradford’s youngsters nor the number of teachers necessary to do so. Bradford’s schools as a whole also provide below the national average on phonics tests, an essential part of early education which improves literacy and numeracy, along with poor GCSE results.
However action has recently been taken by both Imran who has called for a ‘Bradford Challenge’ which will seek to closely emulate the model used in London’s schools to significantly improve performance, and Bradford Council who have adopted a new action plan and approach that was singled out for praise in the Ofsted report.
Speaking on the meeting, Imran said:
“The meeting that I had with the Minister for Schools was extremely fruitful, and I am pleased with his assurances that he is positive about working closely with me in order to implement a better approach and strategy towards education in Bradford.
“We discussed a range of problems facing education in Bradford and it is clear that improvement is required in the education system, but both he and I are enthused that Bradford Council have already taken several steps towards addressing these problems with a new approach and action plan.
“Nevertheless we do need to go further and I look forward to additional meetings with the Minister and other representatives from the Department for Education in the near future in order to get new schools in the right areas for Bradford to solve the places crisis, and to nurture the best leadership teams in existing schools.”