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Lib Dems say: Academies model is wrong for Hastings

August 18, 2008

Local Liberal Democrats met on 11 August to finalise their position statement on the County Council’s proposed Academies plan for Hastings.

Local members met with Cllr Kathryn Field (Battle & Crowhurst) who is the Lib Dem shadow member for Children’s Services.

Following the meeting Cllr Field said,

“I am pleased to have met with colleagues to discuss this important issue for the future of Hastings’ young people. We have had a very productive meeting and have come to a unified position on the Academies plan.

“Let me be absolutely clear – Lib Dems are for excellence, choice and comprehensive education. We are also for a whole systems approach to education, but the Academies plan presents us with fundamental problems.

“We are opposed to the removal of democratic accountability and we are opposed to any sort of sham consultation. We want the Ninestiles Project to be given the County’s full backing and for the superhead model to be maintained”, she said.

Nick Perry, Lib Dem parliamentary campaigner for Hastings & Rye added,

“We know that we need a step change in the quality of secondary education in Hastings, but the Labour Government is determined to impose its Academies model from the Centre, and the Conservative County Council appears to be rolling over and accepting it.

“Liberal Democrats want the best for local children. We want the best staff and the best leadership for our schools, but we do not believe that this will come via an Academies model which has no real track record.”

Cllr David Rogers, Lib Dem Group Leader on East Sussex County Council said,

“I understand that tens of millions will be spent on this latest initiative.

“I am sure that local teachers could provide fantastic outcomes with that kind of investment, and without introducing a model which has, in the small print, permission for 10% pupil selection.

“Local people must ask what will happen to those who don’t get selected. What will be the impact for them and for their families?”

The County Council is legally bound to a consultation as part of its feasibility study. The feasibility study is due to be completed by the end of 2009, with the Academies projected to be up and running by 2011.

[What do you think about the proposed Academies?]

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