Education Secretary’s comments spark anger from opponents
During a speech in London, whilst speaking on the topic of his current drive to persuade more schools to convert to academies, the Education Secretary Michael Gove said that some of his opponents on this matter were “enemies of promise”, and were “happy with failure”.
The programme, originally implemented by the previous Labour government as an aid to struggling schools, is now being suggested by the current Coalition government as recommended for all schools. Academies are still state funded, but fall outside of local authority control, and therefore are seen as semi-independent.
Mr Gove’s comments sparked anger from his Labour opponents and some of the teaching unions, who have been critical of the programme from the outset, suggesting that by reducing the influence of local authorities over schools, the system will become fragmented, and accountability will be damaged.
Mr Gove however believes that by converting to academy status, schools can cut down on bureaucracy, and so free up head teachers to focus more on improving the standards at their school.
At present, there are 1,529 academies open in England, and the government has stated that 45% of secondary schools have either converted into academies, or are in the process of doing so. There are around 20,000 schools in England.
Date: 10th January, 2012
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