In some parts of the country, MPs and councils spend their time attacking each other, playing foolish games. 

As Islanders know, that is NOT my style. I will work with whoever runs County Hall to get a better deal for the Island.

So even when I disagree with the anti-Tory, Alliance group of councillors currently in charge, I generally bite my tongue. 

However, I am now very concerned about decision-making around our schools. 

As of writing this column, the Alliance have apologised. And so they should. I wrote to them a fortnight ago saying the situation was unacceptable.

Whether that prompted action I do not know. The most important thing is that they sort things out, quickly. 

The background is this.  

The Island’s headteachers have said that for Island children to receive a good primary education, several primary schools should close. 

School funding is based on pupil numbers. Fewer pupils equals less funding.

There are at least 213 vacant reception places. Schools with too few pupils lack the funding to provide a good education. 

Nobody - not least me - likes the idea of shutting schools, but worse is schools failing our children. 

The Alliance Group accepted the decision, outlined in a School Place Planning report, before changing their minds. 

As a result, teachers are quitting the schools earmarked for closure whilst parents are finding alternative schools. 

This is a shambles. Teachers are frustrated. Parents are worried. 

Keeping schools open which are too small, whilst superficially attractive, only worsens the situation. Debts rack up, teachers leave and children’s education is damaged. 

Letting schools collapse is cruel and incompetent. 

We already know that some Island schools need more support, especially with early reading skills.

That’s why, with the Department for Education, we organised a reading conference on the Island recently. 

There are other related education issues which worry me too. 

First, we’ve been supported by Hampshire County Council’s education officers. That relationship is under threat. Why, and what will take its place? 

Second, home-schooled children are up by 50 per cent since Covid. Who is checking on those new children? 

Summing up, our young people need and deserve good education, yet our primary schools are being held hostage by councillors unwilling to make decisions. 

The Alliance group’s apology is a welcome start.  

They now need to act in the interests of children, parents and teachers - and they need to do so now.