Commenting on the exchange of emails between Department for Education (DfE) civil servants and News International (NI) regarding the establishment of a NI free school, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union said:
“It is disgraceful that, at the same time as local authority education budgets and school funding was being cut, DfE officials were in conversation with News International over the establishment of a NI-sponsored free school in the London Borough of Newham.
“These emails clearly expose the lie that free schools are ‘parent led’ schools, established in response to parental demand and local need. They reveal the extent to which the Government is pursuing an ideological educational agenda that has nothing to do with meeting the needs of local families and everything to do with promoting its own vanity projects and those of its corporate supporters.
“The NUT opposes the whole of this process and urges the Education Select Committee to instigate an urgent Inquiry into the Government’s free schools’ policy.”