James Forsyth

The Coalition is right to crack on with education reform

The Coalition is right to crack on with education reform
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here has been a criticism of how the Coalition is trying to push through its Academies bill before Parliament rises for the summer. Ed Balls, in his typical understated fashion, has compared it to how anti-terrorism legislation is rammed through and the Tory Chairman of the Education Select Committee, Graham Stuart has said that the Bill should have more time. But there’s a simple reason why the Bill has to get through before parliament goes down for the summer, the school year starts in September. If the legislation was not to pass before the summer recess, many of its effects would be effectively delayed by a year.

The Tories have long made clear what will be in this bill, it was set out in their manifesto. Michael Gove, the education secretary, has always said he would act straight away to allow more schools to become academies and to allow free schools to be set up. So this bill is not being sprung on an unsuspecting nation.

The education system in England and Wales is in desperate need of reform. A bit of the fierce urgency of now is no bad thing.