Response to Academies Commission report - Twigg10 January 2013
Stephen Twigg MP, Labour's Shadow Education Secretary, commenting on the report of the Academies Commission, said:
“This report highlights serious problems with Michael Gove’s management of one of Labour's key school improvement programmes. Academies under Labour were about raising standards and this Government is putting that legacy at risk. The report issues a clear warning on the implementation of the Academies policy, echoing Labour’s concerns that under this Government the schools system is becoming chaotic, impacting on standards and fairness.
“David Cameron needs to get a grip – ministers have already mismanaged the schools budget, overspending on Academies by £1 billion. Now experts are warning that he’s also taken his eye off the ball on school improvement. Parents will be worried that the report says the process for selecting academies sponsors is ‘no longer rigorous’, given how critical sponsors are to school improvement.
“Ministers have failed to ensure schools that have become academies since 2010 work with other schools to raise standards across the system. This is critical for One Nation Education - we need collaboration to tackle underperforming schools that exist in an arc of underachievement.
“It is good to see that the commission also supports Labour's call for a Royal College of Teachers to further strengthen the training and professional development of teachers. Improving practice in the classroom is critical to the life chances of the next generation, but the Government seems uninterested.
“This is an impressive piece of work by a group of outstanding educational experts. It shows the importance of developing schools policies based on evidence and not dogma.”