Slide into silence

The Campaign for State Education recently held its annual conference: Which Future? Education in 2010 and Beyond. Every leading political party was invited to send a spokesperson who would outline the education policies on which it would fight the next general election.

The Tories and Lib Dems agreed to address the audience, but the Government declined, and refused even to send a statement to be read out. Has government grown so complacent that it no longer sees a need to explain its policies, or has it lost the confidence to do so? Either way, this attitude is anti-democratic and regrettable. In 11 years, we have gone from "education, education, education" to: "No comment - we can't be bothered."

Melian Mansfield et al, Chair, Campaign for State Education, London.

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