James Forsyth

Does the government now oppose the setting up of academies?

Does the government now oppose the setting up of academies?
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The Guardian reports that the new schools minister Vernon Coaker is a member of the Socialist Educational Association. The SEA campaigns, among other things, for 'the Government to end the setting up of academies'. So, we have a schools minister who is opposed to the biggest educational innovation Labour has made in its 12 years in power.  

With Brown so weak, we can expect a lot more of this kind of thing. Every Labour pressure group will be pushing at an open door until Brown finally goes. Policy will be decided not on the basis of what is good for the party, but on what might just keep the party behind Gordon.  

One wonders what Lord Adonis, the great champion of academies, makes of all this. He might be sitting in the Cabinet now, but his greatest achievement is being destroyed by the government of which he is a member.

PS This passsage from an interview that Lord Adonis did with Fraser back in January 2007 rings particulalry hollow now:

‘The issue ahead — both for Gordon when he’s Prime Minister and also because at some stage in the future there will be a Conservative government — isn’t about the broad principles of education policy,’ he says. ‘It is about the actual energy and implementation drive of delivering it.’

One suspects that Coaker won't be putting much positive energy into the academies' agenda.

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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