21 April 2016
Gateshead Council have become the latest in a number of local authorities to stand up against the Government’s ludicrous idea of forcing all schools in England to become academies. A motion put to councillors noted that the Government’s White Paper Educational Excellence Everywhere “is a complete distraction from the very real problems facing schools and parents”.
Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:
“The NUT congratulates Gateshead Council and all those local authorities and their elected members across the political spectrum who have voiced their opposition to the proposal to force all schools in England to become academies. We applaud their determination to support local schools and champion the importance of a local, democratic and elected middle-tier in education. The proposal to force schools into unaccountable multi-academy trusts has been rejected by parents, teachers, local authorities and MPs, including many Conservatives.
“The changes will not only create complete turmoil but will cost hundreds of thousands of pounds at a time when school budgets are being cut to the core. This will result in larger class sizes, subjects being cut from the curriculum, the loss of teaching resources, and teachers and support staff being made redundant.
“There was no mention of this proposal in the Conservatives’ General Election manifesto. Given the chorus of opposition from all sectors of society, including the Government’s own MPs, this is not surprising. The NUT has written to Nicky Morgan asking her to provide the evidence to justify this total reorganisation of education in England.
“The Government must not be allowed to implement these proposals which will remove accountability to parents or communities over the way schools are run and children are educated. The NUT will work alongside other trade unions, heads, parents, governor groups, and MPs and local authorities of all political parties to oppose the provisions in the White Paper.”