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Nick slams Editor on Academies plan

July 21, 2008

Dear Peter,

Let me say first of all that Liberal Democrats are supportive of schools being given the freedom and financial backing to innovate and succeed.

However, I think you have overstepped the mark in respect of your editorial comments on Academies this week (18 July).

I am sure that the County Council will be less than pleased that you have torpedoed the hope that their statutory consultation will be fair and meaningful.

Let’s be clear, the consultation is a legal requirement, and forms part of the feasibility study. And we must take it as read that any scheme failing to secure the backing of our young people, parents and teachers, will be about as useful as a chocolate teapot.

Those of us who have real concerns about the Academies plan and the reduction in levels of accountability to local people and local government are unlikely to be reassured by the Observer’s one-sided approach to the issue.

I hope that, in future, you will be as assiduous in airing legitimate concerns as you are at promoting the Academies plan. Local people must be given all the information, so that they can form their views on the proposals.

Cllr Kathryn Field, shadow member for Children’s Services, and Lib Dem councillor for Battle & Crowhurst, has already put some initial Liberal Democrat concerns to the County Council’s Cabinet.

The bottom line for us is that the consultation is a crucial part of this process.

Any sniff of a whitewash and we will be down on Conservative-run ESCC like a tonne of bricks.

Yours sincerely,

[What do you think about the Academies plan?]


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