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Academies are a benefit to all

The National Union of Teachers is wrong to say that city academies target families from affluent areas (TES, October 10). Like other schools with a specialism,academies can admit up to 10 per cent of pupils each year on the basis of aptitude where the specialism is covered by the relevant regulations.

In all cases, the admission arrangements for each academy are agreed with the Secretary of State as a condition of the funding agreement. They are consistent with the code of practice , the law and existing local arrangements on admissions.

Academies are a vital part of the Government's strategy for raising standards in the most disadvantaged areas. They will share their specialist expertise and facilities with other schools and the wider community.

We have had an excellent response to this initiative from NUT members, many of whom are working in academies and are committed to the young people they serve and the aims of their academy. Perhaps other members should visit the 12 academies already up and running to find out first-hand, as I have, what a positive impact they are having on whole communities.

David Miliband

Minister for School Standards

Department for Educationand Skills

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