Clegg & Teather have some explaining to do on unfair & flawed school reforms

Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s Lib Dem conference motion criticising the coalition’s free schools and Academies policies, shadow education secretary Ed Balls said:

“Lib Dem members are right to be concerned about the coalition’s unfair and deeply flawed school reforms. They go against the party’s manifesto and the policy was described as a ‘shambles’ just a few months ago by the Lib Dem schools minister Sarah Teather.

“Nick Clegg and Sarah Teather must explain why they are cancelling 700 school building projects to help fund surplus places in free schools, even though this experiment led to falling standards and greater inequality when it was tried in Sweden.

“And they’ll need to explain why Labour’s Academies have been twisted from a progressive policy to turn round under-performing schools, often in disadvantaged areas, to a policy that seems to be simply about rewarding schools which are doing well.

“Far from being progressive, it is children from poorer families and with special educational needs who disproportionately lose out from the school building cuts and the new elitist Academies policy.

“Lib Dem Ministers claim to have secured a pupil premium to compensate for the worst effects of the coalition’s school reforms but they have nothing to show for it.

“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 the Liberal Democrats will have been sold a pup.”

Watch Ed take Sarah Teather & Michael Gove to task in the House of Commons back in June:

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Posted September 19th, 2010 by Ed's team

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