Lib Dem conference vote is another blow for the coalition’s unpopular, flawed and deeply unfair school reforms

Responding to the overwhelming vote at the Lib Dem conference criticising the coalition’s free schools and new Academies policy, shadow children and education secretary Ed Balls said:

“This is another blow for the coalition’s unpopular, flawed and deeply unfair school reforms. Lib Dem members have said loud and clear that they won’t be fooled by hollow rhetoric from either Nick Clegg or Michael Gove.

“While Lib Dem Ministers claim to have secured a pupil premium to compensate for the worst effects of the coalition’s school reforms, they have absolutely nothing to show for it. It is not backed by any new funding and schools funding has not been protected from cuts, in direct contradiction to what David Laws claimed in the coalition talks with Labour a few days after the election.

“And Ministers have failed to 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.

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

“That’s why the proposer of this motion rightly described free schools and the new Academies policy as ‘divisive, costly and unfair’.”

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Posted September 20th, 2010 by Ed's team

2 Responses to “Lib Dem conference vote is another blow for the coalition’s unpopular, flawed and deeply unfair school reforms”

  1. The pressure is really mounting on Gove and the Tories. The Lib Dem leadership is clearly not backed up by their party on this, and with Labour and the body of the Lib Dems against it, Gove is going to face a lot of criticism on this. Quite how, other than sheer Tory pigheadedness, he’ll be able to justify it will be interesting to see.

  2. Mary nash says:

    Ed, you have done a good job as shadow education secretary . You are a fighter successfully convincing even the Lib Dem grassroots and some Tories that Free Schools are unfair. Just read your article in the Tribune on the urgency to present a credible economic Alternative Plan to the Austerity program of the Con Dem Govt. Nick Clegg has just asked us to hold our nerves and stick with him because the “Con Dem Govt will change Britain for good”. These words bring a shudder down our spine when we believe what he really means is the Con Dem Govt will roll back the state permanently. The next Labour leader must be courageous and visionary. The Leader must realize the urgency of forming a united team, an inspirational credible Alternative Govt that will work hard 24/7 and save our country from the impending devastation.

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