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All schools should have academy freedoms – Labour

Responsibilities and powers given to academies and free schools should be shared with all state schools in England, shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg is to propose.

Setting out Labour’s education strategy, Twigg will state that all schools should be allowed to control their curriculum, budgets and school calendar, regardless of their status.

Labour is not expected to propose an extension of the power to set pay and conditions for teaching staff to all schools.

Twigg will tell his audience at the RSA in London: “We know that giving schools more freedom over how they teach and how they run and organise their schools can help to raise standards. So why should we deny those freedoms to thousands of schools? All schools should have them, not just academies and free schools.

“A school should not have to change its structure just to gain freedoms. Many academies say freedom to innovate in the curriculum has given their teachers a new sense of confidence and professionalism.”

There are currently almost 3,000 academies and over 80 free schools in England.

But the Government said Labour’s policy was “confused”, with a source telling reporters: “Stephen Twigg has previously said that he wants to take freedoms over the curriculum away from academies. Just two months ago he even said Labour will restore local authority control over academies.”

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