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Government looking in wrong place to tackle social injustice – NUT

Over the weekend, health education secretary Nicky Morgan revealed the government’s push to improve schools with the forthcoming Queen’s Speech setting out a series of new measures. 

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Morgan stated: “Our big priorities will be to speed up the process for tackling failing schools; extend our academies programme to tackle ‘coasting’ schools; and deliver on our commitment to open new free schools.” 

She said that under the new plans the government could force schools rated as "requiring improvement" and missing new benchmarks to become an academy. 

“We’ll introduce new powers to intervene not just in failing schools, but in coasting schools – with a clear message that it is not OK to be just above the level of failing. These schools must improve too and will be put on immediate notice and required to work with our team of expert head teachers,” wrote Morgan. 

However, the National Union of Teachers (NUT) claims that there is no conniving evidence that the academies programme has improved education overall or for disadvantaged children. 

Kevin Courtney, deputy general secretary of the NUT, said: “The government is looking in completely the wrong place if they are interested in social justice. 

“There is overwhelming evidence that the poverty and inequality many children face is a real obstacle to their educational achievement. The government should act on poverty reduction urgently. 

“As the new secretary of state, Nicky Morgan should be using her office to argue for protection of the education budget – schools are facing 10% cuts. This, the teacher shortage and the failure to provide enough school places should be her main concerns – not continuing with these unproved experiments.” 

The April/May 2015 edition of PSE is now available for FREE using the new PSE App, available on iOS and Android. Search ‘Public Sector’ in the App Store / Google Play. 


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