Academies Bill

This is what we’ll be voting on tonight. There could be a few votes, but this is Labour’s “reasoned amendment” to the Academies Bill, which sets out pretty comprehensively why we have a problem with it.

[Until 10.00 pm]
Ms Harriet Harman
Ed Balls
Vernon Coaker
Mr John Denham
Mr Nicholas Brown
   That this House declines to give a Second Reading to the Academies Bill [Lords] because it creates the legal framework for the expensive free market schools reforms which will be funded by scrapping existing school building programmes; its approach is based on reforms in other countries which have seen falling standards and rising inequality; it contains no measures to drive up standards, improve discipline or deliver greater equality in schools; it fails to build on the success of the previous Government’s Academies programme and instead focuses additional support and resources on those schools that are already succeeding at the expense of the majority of schools; it deprives schools with the biggest behaviour and special educational needs challenges of local authority support for special needs provision, the funding for which will go to those with the fewest such challenges; it permits selective schools to convert to Academy status, which risks the unplanned expansion of selective education; it removes any proper requirement to consult local authorities or the community before the creation of an Academy and centralises power in the hands of the Secretary of State over the future of thousands of schools without adequate provision for local accountability.

I’ve just been discussing more detailed amendments for the Committee stage with the clerks in the Public Bills Office. It’s such a badly-drafted, rushed Bill it’s not actually that easy to amend, but the shadow Education team has done its best, and I think I’ve come up with something which gets to the nub of the ‘free schools’ issue. Will have to see if it’s accepted for debate on Wednesday, which is our first day in committee.

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  • raincoatoptimism  On July 19, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    tough work amending such a hash job by the coalition govt. but your work is well appreciated by those who don’t want to see schools metamorphise into a place of market clut.


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