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PRESS RELEASE: The Education and Adoption Bill will entrench social inequality

03.06.2015 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For further information and media requests:

Contact: Ellie O’Hagan E: ellie.ohagan@classonline.org.uk T: 0207 611 2571

Class is available for further comment upon the Education and Adoption Bill as it passes through parliament.

Commenting on the tabling of the Education and Adoption Bill which will seek to convert 1,000 ‘failing’ schools to academy status and remove “bureaucratic and legal loopholes”, a spokesperson from Class said:

“The move to convert failing schools to academy status is a mistake on behalf of the government.

“There is evidence that the academies and free schools system is entrenching social inequality amongst Britain’s socially-disadvantaged pupils by creating a patchy and inconsistent education system.
“In 2013, academies took on 12.5% fewer students eligible for Free School Meals than the schools they replaced, and evidence indicates that academies are failing low-income pupils. They should not be expanded.

“Academy chains and free schools have no duty of care equivalent to local authorities in the communities where they are based. The processes by which Academy sponsors are appointed, their finances and governance structures, remain opaque.

“If the Education and Adoption Bill is brought into law, it will exacerbate the problems we are already seeing in the academies system.

“The education system must be reformed in a way that values the whole child, and ensures every pupil receives a good quality of education, regardless of economic background or geographical location.

“A key priority to ensure this is to make all schools locally accountable to the communities they serve. This requires reconstituting local education authorities as the body responsible for educational planning in their area.”

---ENDS---

Notes to Editors:

1. The Centre for Labour and Social Studies (Class) is a new think tank established in 2012 to act as a centre for left debate and discussion and has the growing support of a number of trade Unions  including ASLEF, BFAWU, CWU, GFTU, GMB, FEU, Musicians' Union, NUM, NUT, PCS, PFA, TSSA, UCATT, UCU and Unite the Union. Originating in the labour movement, Class is working with a broad coalition of supporters, academics and experts to develop and advance alternative policies for today. http://classonline.org.uk/about/panel

2. Statistics mentioned in this statement can be found our paper “Education, Justice and Democracy: The struggle over ignorance and opportunity,” by Professor Stephen Ball. You can access the paper here: http://classonline.org.uk/pubs/item/education-justice-and-democracy

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For further information, articles, interviews or media requests please contact Ellie O’Hagan on ellie.ohagan@classonline.org.uk or 0207 611 2571.

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