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Havering NUT rep welcomes government's climbdown on 'stupid' plans to make all schools academies

PUBLISHED: 16:38 06 May 2016 | UPDATED: 16:39 06 May 2016

The government has abandoned plans to force all schools to become academies by 2022. Picture: PA/Barry Batchelor

The government has abandoned plans to force all schools to become academies by 2022. Picture: PA/Barry Batchelor

PA/Press Association Images

Havering NUT secretary welcomed government's climbdown on "stupid" plans to make all schools become academies by 2022.

The government has abandoned controversial plans to force all schools in England to become academies after growing opposition.

Havering NUT secretary Ray Waxler told the Recorder: “My first reaction is thank God for that because it was a pretty stupid idea in the first place.

“There is no evidence to say that academies are better than other schools. It was idealistic from the point of view of the government and it was leading to privatisation.

“It shows that the education secretary has no idea about the reality of education. This has upset a lot of people and it could have been avoided by talking to these parents, teachers and headteachers in the first place.”

The announcement did not come too much as a surprise for the NUT rep, who believed the signals were in place in recent weeks after Conservative rebels opposed forcing high-performing schools to convert.

The move also comes days after headteachers threatened to strike if the plans were pushed forward.

Broadford primary school headteacher Malcolm Drakes said: “This is a relief that the government listened to headteachers and local authorities. You cannot say that you are trusting the school system to be given more autonomy on the one hand and dictate how they have to operate on the other.”

Education secretary Nicky Morgan said this was about the government listening to teachers and allowing schools to decide whether or not to convert.

The plans were not part of the Conservative Party’s manifesto but were announced as part of this year’s budget.

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