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Lib Dem councillor joins with NUT to attack academies

Cambridgeshire has a long and growing list of schools which have converted to become academies. But one of the Council's opposition LIb Dem members spent this weekend making common cause with the extreme left National Union of Teachers to oppose these schools and also the creation of free schools.

Cllr Peter Downes at Young Teachers' Conference declared that "the academies & free schools programme is costly, divisive and inequitable." Cllr Downes is Vice President of the Liberal Democrat Education Association. I don't imagine that his sweeping hostility to choice and independence in schooling is likely to have much impact on those in Cambridgeshire or elsewhere thinking of setting up free schools or converting a school to become an academy.

But Cllr Downes and his cohort may well inflict great harm on the Lib Dems. When the next General Election takes place, on May 7 2015, these school reforms will be established as among the most important and popular achievements of the coalition Government. Yet how much credit will the Lib Dems be able to share when we have people like Cllr Downes constantly sniping and attempting to thwart the Gove revolution?


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