Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Teather's Tory Troubles

Sarah Teather's troubles worsened on Monday when the Lib Dem Conference passed a motion opposing Tory plans for 'free schools' and critical of academies. She is now on a collision course not only with her past political convictions but with the current convictions of the rank and file of her party.

Still enraptured by Michael Gove she expressed 'secret pride' that the party's conference could still make trouble even when in government, but speaking against the motion claimed that the party could have more impact in government than in opposition. Conference voted against her indicating a lack of confidence in their own Education minister.

Peter Downes, a retired headteacher and Lib Dem councillor, made a cogent case in the Guardian yesterday against the 'five fallacies' underlying Gove's 'vision'.  Having gone through the fallacies he says, "We should go back to the places where decisions are being made - and explain to heads, governors, parents, teachers and councillors that academies and free schools are likely to be divisive, costly and unfair.'

If the Lib Dems have  no confidence in Teather's support for Tory policies, why should we?

1 comment:

Martin Francis said...

Commenting on the motion on academies and Free Schools at the Liberal Democrat conference in Liverpool today, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

"This debate has shown up the conflict between Liberal Democrat and Tory values. The fault line in the coalition Government will clearly be on education policies and the importance of a fair education for all.

"Academies and Free Schools are Tory policies and stand in direct opposition to previous Liberal Democrat thinking. Before the election we had Sarah Teather, triumphantly saying that the Liberal Democrats ‘provided the only opposition to the academies project’ and of the Free Schools programs that it was a ‘shambles’, but where is her opposition now?

"The grass roots of the party overwhelming spoke of their rejection of academies and Free Schools. They know, as does the NUT, that implementation of this policy will lead to a fragmentation of the education system which will benefit the wealthy and leave the most disadvantaged behind. It is a costly and divisive policy that is not wanted and not needed as the delegates at the Liberal Democrat conference today have so overwhelmingly indicated."