Reading Council recently received an ill timed and poorly delivered letter from Ofsted about the performance of Free school meals pupils in the area. This was seized upon gladly by Reading East MP Rob Wilson. Let’s be clear, we have a lot to do still in education. The Council’s recently set up school led improvement strategy has a clear plan to help this and targets our schools to be in the top 25% of schools within a couple of years. Some things need to be set straight however. The data quoted is from one year in isolation. Not a trend. It was also a pattern across the South East as the Government had yet again changed GCSE grades and curriculums. The two secondary schools that the local authority has direct control over either saw an increase in free school meal attainment or it stayed at the same level. The fact is this Government has been attacking education ever since they were elected. As a teacher and Councillor I am in a fairly unique position but little angers me more than politicians attacking our students and our teachers. If you want to help Mr Wilson rather than criticise, here is some advice. Don’t vote to cut teachers pay, don’t vote to cut schools budgets, stop meddling in costly academisation, leave our curriculum alone and most importantly back our teachers and students.