Tag Archives: peter downes

Opinion: It shouldn’t just be about the NHS

As an education campaigner and someone who believes in the principles behind the NHS, I have been following the news about the changes we have managed to make to the health bill with interest, and, obviously, pleasure that we have made a difference.

But when are we going to get our collective heads out of the sand when it comes to the privatisation of state education, where “any willing provider” that we were all so horrified about when proposed in the health bill is already rampaging through the education sector?

It will not be long, believe me, where we are seen as …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , and | 14 Comments

BBC: Coalition faces Lib Dem revolt on free schools

Michael Crick reported for BBC2’s Newsnight on a potentially controversial debate at this September’s Lib Dem conference:

September’s Lib Dem conference in Liverpool will be a pretty tame affair, I predict, since most Liberal Democrats are still on cloud nine over the fact they are now in government for the first time in 65 years.

The biggest controversy, I reckon, could well be over a motion denouncing Michael Gove’s radical policies on free schools and academies. The resolution has been specifically picked by Lib Dem conference organisers for a substantial debate.

First, it calls for local councils to keep their role in the “oversight” of the provision of state schools. This is quite contrary to Gove’s strategy of greatly reducing local authority involvement in education. And second, the resolution urges Liberal Democrats not to get involved in Michael Gove’s cherished new policy of free schools.

Given how important local councillors are in the structure of the Liberal Democrat Party and the prevalence of teachers in the party, there must be a pretty good chance that the motion will be passed.

You can watch the 5-minute report here:

Posted in Conference | Also tagged and | 31 Comments
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