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‘Resign’: Education boss under fire for ‘sending her kids to school outside county’

05 Oct 2021 2 minute read
SE boundary sign for Blaenau Gwent north of Hollybush. © Copyright Jaggery and licensed for reuse (CC 2.0)

Elgan Hearn, local democracy reporter

Calls have been made for the councillor in charge of education in Blaenau Gwent to resign after it was alleged she sent her children to a school outside the county.

Opposition councillors believe that the move by Cllr Joanne Collins, the council’s Executive Member for Education, is sending out a message to parents that schools in the county borough are “not good enough” for her children.

Labour group leader Cllr Steve Thomas said: “It’s hardly a ringing endorsement for the education system in Blaenau Gwent when the person supposedly driving improvement has decided that the standard is not good enough for her children.

“What must other parents, teachers and local education officers be thinking?”

Cllr Hedley McCarthy who like Cllr Collins represent the people of Llanhilleth, added: “She has to resign as this is not the first time she has let the education service down.

“It also calls into question the council leader’s judgement and if she refuses to stand down he must step up and sack her.”

Cllr Phil Edwards, leader of the minority Independent group, said: “She is sending out the message that the schools in Blaenau Gwent are not good enough for her children but ok for everyone else’s.

“This is also showing she has no faith in the Blaine Gwent teaching staff.”

‘Not prepared to discuss’ 

When contacted by the Local Democracy Reporting Service Cllr Collins said: “I’m not prepared to discuss my children with the press, that’s a private family matter and not something that’s appropriate.”

Council leader, Cllr Nigel Daniels was contacted for a comment but did not respond.

A spokesman for Blaenau Gwent council said: “In our opinion this is not an appropriate enquiry as it does not relate to council policies, strategy or performance of the member in her executive role.”

Back in March 2020 Cllr Collins was criticised for taking her children on holiday during term time.

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Kevin Morgan
Kevin Morgan
2 years ago

I think if she had realised thee was a limit on the distance her kids can go to school then I’m sure she would have moved somewhere closer. Punishing a parent for sending their children to a school of their preference is just not right or fair at all… Depending where you live ‘out of county’ schools could be closer than in county schools. It’s not as if university students don’t go to university out of county and if it’s a private school then many people enrol with out of county schools, so why is this even of anyone’s concern?… Read more »

Hedley McCarthy
Hedley McCarthy
2 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Morgan

If they do need levelling up, do you not think as Executive Member that’s her job, so are you saying she’s a good parent, but a bad politician?

Argol fawr
Argol fawr
2 years ago

I wonder how many VW managers drive around in a Vauxhall. In any other market, personally choosing a different product to the one I sold would make most of my customers wonder what kind of quality and value I offered. Not to mention mumbling hypocrite! as they walked away.

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