LABOUR PARTY POLICY ON FREE SCHOOLS

Labour will support Free schools open or in the pipeline in 2015

Comment

For those  confused about Labours attitude to Free schools,  and there are a few,here is some recent clarification. In his speech to the RSA on 17 June the shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg said that Labour  “will not continue with Michael Gove’s Free Schools policy. Existing free schools and those in the pipeline will continue. But in future we need a better framework for creating new schools..”  He continued “There will be no bias for or against a school type- so new academies, new maintained schools, new trust schools- all options. A school system based on evidence not dogma.That is what a One Nation schools system is about.”

Andrew Adonis, the architect of the academies scheme, and still very much involved with Labour policymaking,  writes ‘ Free schools are academies without a predecessor school, like Mossbourne and School21 (Hyman, de Botton etc).  Stephen rightly pledged to support all such schools open or in the pipeline in 2015. Labour will enable more parent-led academies, like the West London Free School, to be established where there is a local demand for places.Where we differ fundamentally from the Conservatives is that they are allowing ‘free schools’ to be established anywhere, whether or not there is a need for additional places, whereas Labour will rightly locate new academies in areas – and there are plenty of them – where there is a shortage of good quality school places.  Pressure on public spending is intense; in 2010 Michael Gove cancelled 715 priority building projects for academies and community schools in desperate need of new or modernised facilities.  It cannot be a priority to establish new academies in areas where there are sufficient good quality places while existing academies and community schools lack the facilities they need to do a good job.’

http://andrewadonis.com/2013/06/17/academies-apprenticeships-and-one-nation-labour/

Note: Goves reaction

Michael Gove, the education secretary, reacting to Twiggs speech   said: “Labour’s policy on free schools is so tortured they should send in the UN to end the suffering. On the one hand Stephen Twigg says he will end the free school programme, but on the other he says he would set up ‘parent-led’ and ‘teacher-led academies’ – free schools under a different name.”

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