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Maria Hutchings says Eastleigh’s schools aren’t good enough for her children, but Ofsted disagrees

February 16, 2013 3:28 PM
By Keith House - Leader of Eastleigh Borough Council
Originally published by East Midlands Liberal Democrats

Liberal Democrat Eastleigh Borough Council Leader, Keith House says the Conservative candidate for Eastleigh has proved how out of touch she is with local people in Eastleigh, by claiming state schools aren't up to scratch in Eastleigh.

Commenting, Keith House said:

"Although it's down to every parent to choose the right school for their child, it's simply not true to say that the education in Eastleigh is not good enough for our children.

"Ofsted have rated several local schools 'excellent', they were good enough for Liberal Democrat Candidate, Mike Thornton's daughter to study medicine at Imperial College London, and they are good enough for the majority of Eastleigh parents who are proud to have such excellent schools to choose from.

"Maria's claim that it's 'impossible' to get a good state education in Eastleigh is an insult to the teachers who work hard to give our children the best start, and to the parents who are glad to have such good schools that are part of the local community."

"Liberal Democrats in the Coalition Government have put an extra £1.7m into Eastleigh's schools through the Pupil Premium to help whole classes move forward faster together, and allocated £100,000 for catch-up classes for year 7 pupils in Eastleigh's state secondary schools."

The Facts

Referring to her son's education, Maria Hutchings said: "William is very gifted which gives us another interesting challenge in finding the right sort of education for him - impossible in the state system. He wants to be a cardio-respiratory surgeon." (

Ofsted ranked 'outstanding' secondary schools in Eastleigh include Wildern School and Thorndon School.

Charlie Bloom, School Governor at Wildern School, has written to Maria Hutchings, asking her to apologise for her comments. A copy of his email is below:

Dear Ms Hutchings,

I am absolutely appalled that you have chosen to state that Wildern and Thornden Schools are not adequate for your son.

I am immensely proud of Wildern School which both of my daughters attended and subsequently went on to university. One has achieved a 2:1 and the other is in her second year. I am also privileged to serve on the governing body of this school. It is brilliantly led by its head teacher and the Senior Leadership Team that supports her. The governing body contains an extremely talented group of people, including the chair of your Conservative Association in Eastleigh.

If you were a truly local candidate you would know that both Wildern and Thornden were well respected local schools that achieve the highest standards for their youngsters. To rubbish the achievements of the staff of both of these schools and their governing bodies is a disgraceful thing to do. To denigrate the achievements of the youngsters who have attended these schools and achieved their challenging ambitions is appalling.

Perhaps you would like to choose your words more carefully in future. Perhaps you would also like to apologise for your ill-considered and insulting remarks concerning an exceptional and dedicated group of teachers, governors and students.

Yours sincerely,

Charlie Bloom