Opinion Former Article

NASUWT comments on government's academies bill

Commenting on the proposed Academies Bill in the Queen's Speech, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers' union, said:

"The Academies Bill confirms that the Government is obsessed with structural reform at any price.

"The Government should accept that the system isn't broken and doesn't need fixing.

"There is simply no evidence that academy schools perform better than traditional community schools.

"A recent Ipsos Mori poll of parents in England confirms that the overwhelming majority believe that state schools are of a good quality.

"96% of the public have said they don't want state-funded schools to be run by private sector companies, charities and other unelected bodies.

"There is simply no evidence of a public clamour for the creation of new academy schools. What the vast majority of parents and the public want are good local schools serving all communities.

"It is staggering that a government which is committed to community empowerment is now seeking to disenfranchise democratically elected local councils who represent local people and deny them any say when proposals come forward to open new academy schools.

"The Government's proposal for new academy schools to become exempt charities is a naked attempt to provide a further tax loophole for private sponsors.

"Questions must be asked as to why the Government is refusing to heed the wealth of warnings and international evidence which confirm that academies and free schools are a recipe for educational inequality and social segregation.

"Given the imperative to tackle the budget deficit, the Academies Bill represents a costly and unnecessary solution to a problem that simply does not exist."

ENDS

Stuart Gannon
NASUWT Press Office
Tel: 020 7420 9681
Mobile (and out of hours contact): 07966 198894

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