Wrong priority

5th June 2009 at 01:00

Nick Bourne, the Welsh Conservative leader, is wrong to claim there is "a growing body of evidence that freeing up schools to make their own decisions leads to a wide range of benefits" ("Welsh Tories back academies project", TES Cymru, May 29).

The truth is that there is no evidence the academies programme has improved results. Even the government-commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers report admits this.

Welsh schools receive 10 per cent funding less than their English counterparts, and David Reynolds blames the poor overall performance of Welsh 15-year-olds in international comparisons on that underinvestment.

Nick Bourne should be making that his priority, rather than risk damaging Welsh education by introducing the expensive white elephant of the academies programme.

Kevin Courtney, Anti Academies Alliance officer, London.

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