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Hinds: Labour plan to end academies is ‘control freakery’

Hinds calls for 'urgent answers' over Labour's plans for academies

justine greening, social mobility, social mobility pledge, education, treasury, funding

Hinds calls for 'urgent answers' over Labour's plans for academies

Education secretary Damian Hinds will launch a defence of free schools and academies in a speech to academies chiefs today.

Speaking at the launch of the Confederation of School Trusts at the British Library in London this morning, Mr Hinds will say that free schools and academies have led to more than half a million children now studying in "good" or "outstanding" sponsored academies that were once typically under-performing schools

And he will condemn Labour plans to end academisation and scrap the free schools programme.

In an open letter to shadow education secretary Angela Rayner, Mr Hinds says his government has “extended the good work” started under Labour politicians such as Tony Blair and Andrew Adonis, and questions why the Labour Party now wants to distance themselves from them. 

The letter states that ending academisation and free schools "will create a lot of unnecessary worry for parents, students and staff."

He states in the letter: "I assume you would want to clarify the position and set out exactly the implication for families in the event of a Labour government being elected. I therefore am writing to you to seek urgent answers.” 

Last month, Ms Rayner said in her speech to the Labour Party conference that academies “neither improved standards nor empower staff or parents” and that Labour would allow academies to return to local authority control.

She said: “We’ll end the scandal of individuals and companies profiting from schools they are involved in, stopping fat cat pay for bosses and restoring fair pay for staff. And we will use our time in government to bring all publicly funded schools back into the mainstream public sector, with a common rulebook and under local democratic control.”

But Mr Hinds will say in his speech today: “Angela Rayner may call it ‘local democratic control’. I call it not trusting schools. Why do Labour want to put politicians in charge of schools? It’s because they don’t trust headteachers.”

His speech will condemn Labour's plans as “dangerous control freakery” which “put ideology first and children second”.

Mr Hinds' letter also states: “I find it puzzling that you and Jeremy Corbyn want to distance yourselves from reforms that have trusted teachers, turned around failing schools and played a significant part in closing of the attainment gap between rich and poor.”

 

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