The Shadow Education Secretary, Stephen Twigg, spoke at the Education Innovation conference today and answered my question about what would happen to the academies and free schools programme under a Labour government. He responded in a relatively cautious fashion, but clearly indicated that the academies programme would be reduced, suggesting, though not stating openly, that schools wouldn’t be forced to become academies. In effect, I think he was saying that it would return to the sort of programme it was under the last Labour government; focused upon areas of deprivation, something I agree with. He called for it to be a programme with a renewed emphasis upon “social justice”.
He also said that free schools would be much more connected to their local authorities, with a keener eye put on their admissions procedures and more accountability for them generally. But again, he stopped short of saying the programme would stop.
Watch his reply, and see what you think: