Magazine article Public Finance

Keep Academies Voluntary, Say Council Leaders

Magazine article Public Finance

Keep Academies Voluntary, Say Council Leaders

Article excerpt

Local government leaders are demanding an urgent meeting with Education secretary Alan Johnson over claims that authorities wanting to launch capital investment programmes for schools are being forced to accept city academies.

Sir Jeremy Beecham, vice-chair of the Local Government Association and leader of its Labour group, intends to lead a cross-party delegation if Johnson agrees to meet them.

The aim is to secure categorical assurances from the minister that permission for investment schemes, being conducted under the Building Schools for the Future programme, will not depend on councils agreeing to the creation of an academy.

In a letter sent to Johnson on August 25, Beecham calls on him to confirm that the position has not changed since former schools minister David Miliband pledged that, although authorities would have to consider whether an academy would be appropriate, they would not be forced to have one. …

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