Alistair Craig interviewed on Time FM

After it was revealed that Greenwich Borough had ranked eighth from bottom in the country for Key Stage 2 test scores in English, Maths and Science (taken by all 10-11 year olds in the last year of primary school), Alistair Craig, Parliamentary Candidate for Greenwich & Woolwich, was interviewed on local radio station Time FM and asked for his reaction to the results.

Alistair said "First, I would like to congratulate Sherington Primary School in Charlton which has been rated the most improved school in the country for Key Stage  2 results.  These are fantastic results, and just goes to show what can be achieved when a strong head teacher is allowed to focus on teaching and improving results.

However, across the rest of the borough, the picture is a depressing one.  Despite millions of pounds being thrown at the education sector by Labour politicians both locally and nationally, it is clear that the money is being wasted on paperwork and bureaucracy, and is not reaching the front line where it is really needed.

It is astonishing that, on average, 12 pages of Government paperwork land on every headteacher's desk every working day of the school year.  This cannot be a sensible use of taxpayers' money and it is doubtful that it is of any benefit to pupils.  These results show that the standard of education for our primary schools kids in the borough is stagnating.  It is time for a different approach".

Alistair was asked what a Conservative Government would do differently, and how a party that promised to cut taxes could also deliver improved standards in education.

"This is one of the great myths that Labour spread about a Conservative Government.  Lower taxes do not mean worse public services.  Labour have squandered billions of pounds of tax revenues on bureaucrats.  Our review of government spending under David James, the man who Labour brought in to rescue the Dome, has identified £1 billion of savings in education, that's equivalent to £158 for each child in the country.  That's money that could be spent on school books, classroom improvement and building maintenance to create a better atmosphere for learning.  We need to take the politicians and the administrators out of running our schools, and let teachers get on with what they do best - teach".

Finally, Alistair was challenged by the interviewer about how a Conservative Government would tackle the problem of indiscipline in schools, which has been identified as a major factor in holding back improvements in results.

"I went to a school which had more than its fair share of disruptive kids in the classroom, so I know the effect they can have if they are allowed to run riot.  We need to reclaim our classrooms so that kids who want to learn can do without disruption.  In the first day of the next Conservative government, we will set out plans to give head teachers the power to expel disruptive pupils.  At the moment, that power rests with an appeal body, which cannot possibly know the actual effect a disruptive child is having in the classroom.

And Labour want to make the situation even worse, with their latest proposals to force all schools to take their "fair share" of disruptive children.  This is crazy.  We will establish special "turnaround schools" which will give these children the focused, specialised education they need to allow them to make progress".

Would this not mean creating a two-tier system of education, asked the interviewer.  "Not at all", according to Alistair.  "The aim of these special units would not be to create a permanent "ghetto" for disruptive children.  It must be the case that they are put back into mainstream education as soon as it can be shown that they have made the necessary improvements in behaviour and educational attainment.  If we condemn them to a permanent existence in these units without reintegrating them with other schools, then we will be failing in our task".