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Interesting piece (£) in the Sunday Times yesterday about the efforts of Birmingham City Council to act as a block on parental choice. This would be expected of a Labour Council but Birmingham is a Conservative/Lib Dem coalition with the Conservatives as the senior partner. Yet the opposition to free school and academies is unyielding.

The article notes the role of the teachers unions, including the NASUWT, whose General Secretary is Chris Keates.

It goes on:

The success of the education secretary’s reforms also depends on them working in Birmingham, the biggest local authority.

Here, the councillor in charge of education has been branded a “block” by Tories. The councillor, Les Lawrence, is a Conservative, married to Keates. She has called some of Gove’s reforms “conceived by power junkies”.

David Wheeldon, head teacher of King Edward VI Five Ways school in Birmingham, has applied for academy status in the teeth of this opposition. He says:

“Cllr Lawrence described the academies as a dash for cash … You can say that we agree to disagree.”

I have written before about Cllr Lawrence calling for his resignation of social work failings and noting his opposition to free schools.

17 comments for: Tory councillor opposing free schools is married to union leader

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