Lib Dem Conference

We congratulate delegates to the Lib Dem conference who today voted for motion F23 on Academies and ‘Free’ Schools. The motion is critical of the Academy programme and calls for a boycott of ‘Free’ schools.

Delegates voted for the motion and rejected amendment 2 which watered down the motion. Amendment 2 was supported by the party leadership.

The motion shows that there is no mandate for the Academies Act, or Michael Gove’s ‘Free’ Schools proposal. The vote shows that Lib Dem delegates are far more aware of public opinion than their leadership. Speaker after speaker condemned Academies and ‘Free’ schools and protested that the policy discussion should have been held before the Act was passed, not after.

·         How can Michael Gove and Sarah Teather now push forward these overwhelmingly unpopular policies, when one of the parties comprising the Coalition oppose them?

·         Will Michael Gove now initiate a democratic consultation process for Academy proposals?

·         Will they continue to drive through ‘Free’ schools, schools which will be initiated by parents, but run by businesses?.

This vote confirms the opposition that exists across the country to Academies and ‘Free’ Schools, and will lead to increased campaigning by parents, school staff and the community whenever a school proposes to become an Academy, or a ‘Free’ school is proposed.