Labour to make no more academies pledge

Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner is set to tell the Labour Party conference in Liverpool that the current school system is ‘simply not fit for purpose’.

Stating that powers over school admissions and building new schools should be returned to councils, a future Labour government would scrap the creation of new academy and free schools in England, a policy popularly adopted by the current Conservative government. Rayner is likely to also state that the two thirds of secondary schools and fifth of primaries already out of local authority control will not be affected.

Under Labour's plans, which were first voiced last year with plans to end the creation of free schools, responsibility for decision making and budgets could eventually be transferred to a governing body of elected parents, teachers, school staff, and community representatives. Labour says failing academy schools would be allowed to return to local authority control and it would support new co-operative schools set up by parents and staff.

The proposed changes are based upon a belief that there is currently too little evidence to suggest that schools converted to academies have improved results, with Rayner expected to launch an attack on the Tories’ having ‘thrown money at an academy and free school programme that is not improving outcomes for pupils’.

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