A SENIOR councillor has branded Bournemouth's education system "appalling and out of date" in a Facebook attack.

Beverley Dunlop said the town did not have a "half decent" secondary school that was not either single-sex or "god squad-controlled".

She lashed out after her son's school, Winton Arts and Media College, was placed into special measures for poor teaching standards.

The married mum of two wrote a status update without realising her profile was set to public viewing.

She put: "Sleepless nights after the realisation that child number 2 is also going to be failed like child number one by Bournemouth's appalling and wildly out of date education system.

"We chose this school as the 'least worst' out of the ridiculous single sex or god-squad controlled schools because all the normal schools were already failing.

"The sad truth is that there isn't a single co-ed, non denom school offering a half-decent education in the whole of Bournemouth. You have to move to Christchurch if you want that basic requirement!"

Cllr Dunlop, 52, is a Tory backbencher and a former cabinet member for tourism and lives in Throop.

Asked about her comments, she said: "There needs to be a wider choice for parents.

"Religion is a lifestyle choice, not an educational requirement. We are a secular society."

Mrs Dunlop's daughter went to Avonbourne School, a single sex girls' school.

She said: "My experience of that, and many people of my age, is that I don't believe it is a healthy environment.

"People don't work in single sex offices. Children play together - we don't have single sex primary schools.

"I understand there are lessons where girls do better if boys aren't around.

"But I don't believe single sex schools are healthy or normal and I believe there should be a choice."

She added: "My comments have been made as a parent. Changing the education system really requires funding from central government."

Cllr Dunlop is originally from Birmingham and was educated at a secondary modern. She has since removed the posts.

Cllr Nicola Greene, the cabinet member for education, said she would not comment on individual schools but standards were rising and GCSE results had reached a record high.

She said: "We offer choice. Oakmead College of Technology is non-denominational and is co-educational, as is the Bourne Academy.

"There's also a lot of cross border traffic between Bournemouth and Poole, and Dorset to a lesser extent."

She also said: "The Church of England has been offering education, in some cases the only education available, for well over 150 years and it's been doing by and large a pretty good job.

"It might not be everyone's cup of tea but they offer a choice for people who want a school with a faith background and they remain popular for a whole raft of reasons."

Council chief executive Pam Donnellan said: "It is disappointing that Cllr Dunlop feels unhappy with her son's school provision.

"This year saw the best ever results with the percentage of pupils getting five grade A-Cs including English and Maths above the national average."