Commenting on the Mayor of London’s endorsement of the Going for Gold report into education in the capital, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:
“Time and again we see proposals which try and make sense of the chaotic and muddled education policies of this Government.
“The proposals for more free schools and the creation of a unit in City Hall to assist in the setting up of free schools is simply a waste of taxpayers’ money.
“Schools working together to support one another is exactly what was in place with the very successful London Challenge programme, stopped by this Coalition Government in 2010.
“The idea that a string of free schools, each with very individual agendas, will be able to work together in a collaborative fashion and with shared goals is highly improbable.
“It is increasingly obvious that the academies and free schools programme is deeply flawed. The lack of accountability and oversight, in areas such as planning of proper school places, provided previously by the local authority, is now recognised as essential. In this increasingly fragmented system, everyone from think tanks to politicians are trying to invent something to take its place.
“We must stop education policy being created in pursuit of political glory. If we are not to fail generations of pupils we urgently need a serious discussion about the future of education in this country. Politicians need to listen to the education profession, not the other way round.”
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