Parents: Politicians don’t get it

By Ian Dunt

Parents overwhelmingly feel that politicians misunderstand their wishes when it comes to education, a new survey has suggested.

Speaking to education foundation Edge, 70 per cent of parents said politicians do not know much about education.

The survey revealed a profound lack of trust in politicians. Respondents picked the Conservatives as the party most likely to improve education, with 29 per cent giving them support. But 55 per cent said they did not believe the party would fulfil its pledge to make education a priority if elected.

“The message is clear – British parents know what they want for their children when it comes to education, but currently none of the parties are meeting their expectations,” said Andy Powell, chief executive of Edge.

“Education is not a political football, to be kicked around between parties for political gain.”

The survey also revealed that nearly nine out of ten parents (87 per cent) believed political parties over-promise on education matters in a bid to secure votes.

Around three-quarters (72 per cent) feel that leaders are not in touch with the education system, with nearly half (47 per cent) saying politicians want an education system which does not meet their child’s needs.

Over a third of parents believe Labour has failed to live up to its ‘education, education, education’ promise before the 1997 general election.

The report comes as Lesley Ward, president of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), made a speech describing how some children enter the education system from such poverty it is difficult to conquer their disadvantage.