Changing the admissions code won’t make up for Gove’s cuts

Responding to reports that Michael Gove is considering changing the admissions code to allow Academies and free schools to prioritise children eligible for free school meals, shadow children and education secretary Ed Balls said:

“If the government was serious about Academies serving children from poorer backgrounds, then they would have continued with Labour’s previous policy.

“Labour’s Academies were focused on transforming under-performing schools, often in disadvantaged areas, and had a higher proportion of children on free school meals than the national average. But Michael Gove’s new Academies have been distorted to focus on schools which are already doing well and in more affluent areas.

“After weeks of reports about how the poorest will bear the brunt of the coalition’s cuts, it’s no surprise that the government is rushing out an announcement that looks superficially like it might help the most disadvantaged.

“But simply changing the admissions code will do nothing to counter-balance the coalition’s cuts to free school meals, new school buildings and catch-up programmes like Every Child a Reader which will hit the neediest children hardest.

“If the pupil premium turns out to be a token amount of money compared to existing deprivation funding, extra funding on top of a smaller budget, or paid for by cutting other programmes that help the most disadvantaged children then this announcement may turn out to be little more than a gimmick.”

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Posted September 14th, 2010 by Ed's team

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