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Anger vented over Ilford school academy

PUBLISHED: 12:49 20 September 2010 | UPDATED: 13:36 20 September 2010

Redbridge Town Hall

Redbridge Town Hall

Archant

A ROW over the £35m academy school set to be built in Ilford has erupted.

A ROW over the £35m academy school set to be built in Ilford has erupted.

In a full council meeting, Labour councillors slammed the Isaac Newton Academy, saying it paved the way for “dangerous privatisation” of the education system.

During Thursday’s meeting in Redbridge Town Hall, High Road, Ilford, Liberal Democrat Cllr Richard Hoskins said: “If it isn’t broken, why fix it?”

Labour Cllr Elaine Norman backed him up saying: “Our excellent school results are thanks to the relationship between the schools and the authorities.
“This new school will be out of the local education authority’s control completely.

“They won’t be expected to take in children with special needs, they can control their admissions policy, and ultimately, they can start charging.

“This is a very dangerous move towards privatisation”

The Isaac Newton Academy, set to be built on the Cricklefields site, High Road, Ilford, was given the green light by the coalition government last month.

Labour Cllr Wes Streeting backed caution over the move saying: “Why are we angry about the centralisation of control over bus passes, but not with schools?”
Cllr John Fairley-Churchill stood in to defend his parties academies model.

He said: “We don’t need advice from Labour on how to spend our money.”
An angry exchange ensued between the pair, in which Cllr Steeting accused Cllr Fairley-Churchill of “crossing the floor”.

A shaken Cllr Fairley-Churchill took to his feet demanding an apology for the inaccuracy.

The school had been placed on a list of 100 proposed academies across the country to be discussed after the coalition government came into power earlier this year.

But it was given the go-ahead last month, with work now set to start at the site.

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