Commenting on the Government's climb-down over forced academies in England, Kevin Courtney, Deputy General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers' union, said:
"This is a huge Government climb-down and is a testament to the campaigning of teachers and parents. Within a week of the White Paper being published demonstrations occurred across the country organised by NUT members. Two petitions calling for a halt to the proposal to force all schools to become academies reached 150,000 signatures each, and 200 parents met at the NUT headquarters. This was an unprecedented outcry.
"This is the third major education u-turn by Government. In a month we have seen baseline scrapped, SPaG Key Stage 1 tests scrapped and now the central plank of the White Paper, forced academies. This is a clear indication that Government policy is in tatters. Nicky Morgan needs to stop and talk to the profession to work out a clear way forward. It is time to end this ideological nonsense from this discredited Government. They need to start adopting the right priorities for education by talking to the profession. They should not take extra powers to force all schools in specified local authorities to become academies. The 8% cuts to budgets that schools are facing need to be reversed. This is a huge concern as it will impact on every school and every child."