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Don't mention the A-word

Academies were a dirty word at last week's Trades Union Congress conference in Brighton.

Delegate after delegate railed against them and their ministerial supporters. "Whenever I hear (Lord Adonis) talk about schools, I am reminded of the words of the Bard: 'I would rather hear my dog bark at a crow,' " said Andy Ballard, of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers.

But the mood was quite different at a fringe meeting that night, where Education Secretary Ruth Kelly was praising a new TUC training scheme.

The name of the new project?

Er, the TUC Learning Academy.

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