Ian Austin

Independent for Dudley North

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Austin speaks up for parents and pupils disappointed on choice of schools

MP speaks up on school admissions and welcomes OBE for top Dudley head teacher.

Dudley MP Ian Austin has called on the government to allow over-subscribed schools to provide the spaces needed to admit more pupils.

He spoke out after once again being contacted by dozens of parents whose children have not been allocated places at the school of their choice, because they do not have the places to admit them.

He wants the government to relax rules which prevent schools raising the funds needed to provide the places and then service the loans with the additional revenue the extra pupils would bring to the school.

He also used the House of Commons education debate to welcome the news that a top Dudley head teacher has been awarded an OBE.

Andy Griffiths has been awarded an OBE in recognition of his work in turning Dudley’s Ellowes Hall Sports College into the area’s best state school in his 13 years in charge.

Mr Griffiths has now gone on to head up the Invictus Education Trust which aims to replicate the success of Ellowes Hall at other schools in the region.

Ian Austin praised Mr Griffiths’ contribution, saying that his hard work had helped local children can reach their full potential, with over 80 percent of children at Ellowes Hall getting five good GCSEs now compared to just 35 percent a few years ago.

The MP called on the Education Secretary to ensure that popular schools like Ellowes Hall have the support they need to expand and meet demand from parents.

Ian Austin said:

“Andy’s OBE is richly deserved and a testament to the hard work that he and his colleagues have put in to turn around Ellowes Hall.

“His work shows how making education our number one priority means that every child in Dudley can get a first class start in life and more opportunities in the future.

“It’s the only way we’ll attract new investment, new industries and new jobs on which our prosperity depends.

“But every year he and the head teachers at other successful and over-subscribed schools have to turn dozens of pupils away simply because they are not allowed to provide the extra spaces.

“I don’t see why parents in Dudley should have to send their children to schools they’re not happy with. I want them to allow the schools to provide the places and pay off the loans with the extra funds the pupils would bring.”

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