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MP Jo Churchill ‘very pleased’ Government backs down on forced academies plan

Jo Churchill, MP for Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket ANL-160403-102840001
Jo Churchill, MP for Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket ANL-160403-102840001

MP Jo Churchill says she is pleased the Government have decided to back down on plans to force schools to become academies.

The Member of Parliament for Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket said she believes ‘one size doesn’t fit all’ and that decisions on whether a school should become an academy should be made at a local level.

A letter sent to MPs by Secretary of state for Education Nicky Morgan today reads: “I recognise the concerns about the compulsion element of the proposals, especially when it comes to schools that are performing well.

“Having considered these representations we have decided it is not necessary to take powers to force good schools in strong local authorities to become an academy at this time.”

However, she added the Government’s goal to achieve an education system where every school was an academy by 2022 still stood, although it would not be made compulsory.

Speaking soon after the announcement, Mrs Churchill said: “I am very pleased. “I have had private meetings with the Secretary of State on more than one occasion and I have had reservations about the policy. “I am not against academisation but it’s about the right school model for the right place within the whole of education.

“I want to go into every class and know that every child’s talents and abilities have shone through and that’s the bottom line for me.”