Commenting on the proposals for education in the Conservative Party manifesto, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers' union, said:
"The rhetoric of opportunities and high standards of education for all is right. The policies intended to deliver it are wrong.
"The Conservative mantra of freedom for schools and teachers is seductive but deceptive.
"Freedom comes at the high price of, among other things, abandoning national pay and conditions of service for teachers and allowing all schools to select their pupils.
"The education manifesto is a patchwork of policies, littered with contradictions and hopelessly out of touch with public opinion.
"For example, a recent Ipsos MORI poll demonstrated 96% of the public are against the Conservative free schools policy.
"There is no evidence that large numbers of parents are either dissatisfied with the current system or want to run schools themselves
"95% of the electorate do not want the private, voluntary sector, charitable or other organisations running schools. They want local and national government to run core public services.
"This education manifesto is not about giving power to the people. It is about throwing state schools to the mercy of the free market to gamble with, and profit from, tax-payers' money.
"When the private and voluntary sectors and the pushy and the privileged have had their fill, they will walk away leaving segregated communities, social division, inequality and thousands of children and young people whose life chances have been sacrificed.
"This is the stark choice for the electorate on 6 May laid bare."
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