Renegade awards

9th April 2004 at 01:00
The Learning Trust, the company which runs education in Hackney, staged a swanky award ceremony for its brightest and best last Monday - but it seems not everybody was impressed by the gesture. Local National Union of Teachers and Unison reps, annoyed by the awards ceremony's elitism and a lack of consultation on the winners, boycotted the event and organised their own "Not the Learning Trust Awards Evening" three days later, with free drinks and reggae music.

More than 180 people turned up to applaud MP Diane Abbott's award for "services to promoting fee-paying education", for her decision to send her son to the independent City of London school.

Alan Wood, chief of the Learning Trust, won the coveted "Promoting parental involvement" award after provoking two street demos in a week over school closures.

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