Controversial plans to force all schools to convert into Academies have been scrapped by the new Education Secretary, Justine Greening. The policy was strongly opposed by many councils, including Conservative-run councils up and down the country. Liberal Democrat Councillor LizGreen, Leader of the Opposition welcomed the announcement.
“I welcome the change in policy as we won’t now see all our schools forced to become Academies. Under current Government policy, to get the new schools we need - the only game in town is for Academies and Free Schools to open. Liberal Democrats are clear, we will work with Free School sponsors and the DfE just as we did in our former Administration when we set up the Kingston Education Trust to build Kingston Academy which has now opened its doors in North Kingston.”
Locally the Conservatives are at odds with their Government as their Leader is on record as saying they “want all local schools to become Academies” but saying in their political leaflets that Liberal Democrats are opposed to a Free School in Surbiton is untrue as Councillor Green was keen to point out.
“It’s mischievous to imply Liberal Democrats are opposed to a new Free School in Surbiton. Where we differ from the Tories is we believe that giving away local power to Academy sponsors and stripping Kingston Council of ownership of school land without any evidence school standards will improve is just not good for our local schools.”
1. Academy Trusts include: single academy trusts, multi academy trusts, traditional sponsored
academies, converter academies, free schools, studio schools, university technical colleges,
alternative provision and special academies.
2. The Education Act of 1870 introduced state provision for a school place for every child and since
that time all our local schools have been run locally by democratically elected local bodies. All of
that changed under the Academy System which is now seeing more and more of our local schools
removed from local, democratically accountable control and put with the Whitehall bureaucrats who
manage £54 billion of funding a year for 8 million children aged 3 to 16, and 1.6 million young
people aged 16 to 19.
3. Under the previous twelve year Liberal Democrat Administration Kingston Schools out-performed
other schools and every year results were amongst the best in the country.