Newham NUT welcomes academy schools U-turn

Newham's assistant branch secretary of the NUT Iain Hale

Newham's assistant branch secretary of the NUT Iain Hale - Credit: Archant

One of the country’s biggest teaching unions has branded the government’s U-turn over turning all Newham schools into academies as a “victory for common sense”.

Newham members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) took part in a protest against the government

Newham members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) took part in a protest against the government's academy plans outside the Department for Education in March - Credit: Archant

Education secretary Nicky Morgan conceded defeat over current proposals to convert all schools, although she stressed that the government was still in favour of academies.

Despite claiming the decision was a political-driven Ian Hale, 56, Newham’s assistant branch secretary of the National Union of Teachers (NUT), welcomed the news.

“It’s certainly a victory for common sense,” he said.

“It’s a political back-track, not an ideological back-track but the important thing is that the government have back-tracked.

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“I think the Conservative party were more concerned about being defeated by their own back-benchers and county councils, rather than the views of the profession.

“I just hope the £1.3bn that the government had ear-marked to spend on converting schools to academies can still be used on education and for schools.”

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Chancellor George Osborne announced the proposals to take all English school outside of local authority control in his Budget two months ago, but the government has come under increased pressure over the issue.

Education experts and MPs across all parties have spoken out against the measures with the National Association of Head Teachers threatening to take strike action earlier this week.

Mrs Morgan said: “Making every school an academy is the best way to ensure every child, regardless of birth or background, has access to a world-class education.

“I am today reaffirming our determination to see all schools to become academies. “However, having listened to the feedback from parliamentary colleagues and the education sector we will now change the path to reaching that goal.”

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