Stop trashing our education

16th July 2004 at 01:00
So Education Secretary Charles Clarke has announced Labour's five-year education plan including the creation of 200 academies (TES, July 2).

Why, then, is the Labour party's national policy forum to meet later this month to decide on education plans to go to the Labour party annual conference in September to form part of the manifesto for the next general election? It seems that all those of us who spent long hours discussing the consultation documents are being made monkeys of.

Worse than that, we are having foisted on us without any discussion in the party or elsewhere, except Downing Street, unproven, independent schools, quite unaccountable to their communities, massively funded by the Department for Education and Skills but controlled by their private sponsors, who can select pupils by "aptitude" and alter staff's pay and conditions of service at will.

How much further is this trashing of education to go on before parents, unions and those concerned about education cry halt?

Malcolm Horne General secretary Socialist Educational Association 43 Orchard Grove Chalfont Buckinghamshire

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