Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers union, said:
"For the last 13 years, the Labour Government has been focused on rebuilding the education infra-structure through unprecedented investment and positive workforce reform in partnership with trade unions.
"The clear statement in the manifesto, recognising positive contribution trade unions make, is a distinctive strength of Labour's policy proposals.
"There is no doubt that we have the best generation of teachers, which has achieved the year on year improvement in standards.
"More and more children and young people are learning in state-of-the-art facilities. Staying on rates at 16 are higher than ever before. More young people are going to university.
"This progress achieved to date must be protected and enhanced. The commitment to sustaining the investment in education is, therefore, welcome and essential for the future of state education.
"The proposal for the chains of providers and the number of schools involved had been signalled prior to the publication of the manifesto.
"Whilst the NASUWT welcomes the commitment that these chains will operate under national pay and conditions of service, there is no evidence that structural change is the key to raising standards. We, therefore, continue to oppose governance and management of schools being handed over to external providers.
"And we are not alone in this view. We have the powerful ally of public opinion. A recent Ipsos Mori poll reports 96% of the public want schools run by local authorities, in preference to any other type of provider, including universities, groups of parents, charities or private companies. All political parties should take note of this."
NASUWT Press Office
Tel: 020 7420 9681
Mobile (and out of hours contact): 07966 198894
Address: 5 King Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 8SD