Leeds MP defends Roundhay School over criticism from Conservative leadership candidate Liz Truss

Leeds North East MP Fabian Hamilton has defended Roundhay School over criticism from Conservative leadership candidate Liz Truss.

By Tom Coates
Thursday, 14th July 2022, 11:45 am
Updated Thursday, 14th July 2022, 12:09 pm

Ms Truss is among the Conservatives vying to replace Boris Johnson as prime minister and in 2020, claimed her former school spent "too little time" making sure everyone could read and write.

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She claimed that the school taught about racism and sexism while insufficient time was dedicated to teaching reading and writing, and that children from disadvantaged backgrounds were let down.

Liz Truss is currently in the race for leadership of the Conservative Party. Credit: Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

At her Conservative Party leadership campaign launch today, she said: "Many of the children I was at school with were let down by low expectations, poor educational standards and a lack of opportunity.

"Too much talent went to waste."

The school falls within Mr Hamilton's constituency and he has lauded it as an "excellent educational institution".

He tweeted: "Once again, Liz Truss has shown she knows little about North East Leeds. First, she wrongly suggested that Roundhay was a red wall seat and now she has criticised our hard working teachers and school staff in Leeds.

"Roundhay School has been an excellent educational institution for decades and its staff and students are real assets to our community. It’s shameful that Liz Truss has decided to attack them today."

Speaking about her education at Roundhay School in 2020, Ms Truss said: "As a comprehensive school student in Leeds in the 1980s and 1990s, I was struck by the lip service that was paid to equality by the City Council while children from disadvantaged backgrounds were let down.

"While we were taught about racism and sexism, there was too little time spent making sure everyone could read and write.

"Rather than promote policies that would have been a game changer for the disenfranchised like better education and business opportunities, there was a preference for symbolic gestures."

Ms Truss was born in Oxford but her family moved to Scotland and then on to Leeds, enrolling her at Roundhay School.

She came third in the first round of voting in the race for leadership of the Conservative Party, falling behind Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt.