A further embarrassment for Michael Gove – Ed Balls on Academy numbers published today

Responding to news that just 32 new Tory-style Academies will open for the start of the new school term, shadow children and education secretary Ed Balls said:

“This is a further embarrassment for Michael Gove. After claiming over 1000 schools had applied to become Academies and railroading his emergency legislation through Parliament, it now turns out only a tiny fraction of that number are opening for the start of the new term. It seems to me that the real reason for the rush was to avoid proper scrutiny for a deeply flawed piece of legislation.

“Let’s be clear that the only similarity between Labour’s Academies policy and Michael Gove’s is that they have the same name. Our Academies were part of a progressive education policy to give new ethos, leadership and investment to under-performing schools, often in disadvantaged areas, and I’m pleased to see a further 64 Labour Academies which I approved opening this term.

“But the Tory Academies policy is simply about rewarding schools which are already doing well at the expense of everyone else, and allowing schools to opt out and go it alone rather than working together to tackle issues like behaviour and exclusions.

“Our Academies went ahead with the agreement of local authorities, the new Tory Academies strip out any role for local authorities.

“Michael Gove’s complete perversion of our Academies policy is a recipe for a two-tier education system and we will continue to oppose it.”

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Posted September 1st, 2010 by Ed's team

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