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Redbridge Council questions academy plans revealed in George Osborne’s Budget

PUBLISHED: 07:00 18 March 2016

Barking and Dagenham Council leader Darren Rodwell credited chancellor George Osborne for backing the A13 flyunder (Pic: PA/Yui Mok)

Barking and Dagenham Council leader Darren Rodwell credited chancellor George Osborne for backing the A13 flyunder (Pic: PA/Yui Mok)

PA/Press Association Images

The Redbridge council cabinet member for Children and Young People has questioned government plans, announced at yesterday’s Budget, to convert all schools into academies.

The majority of Redbridge’s state-run schools are rated either ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted, and the borough is currently the third best authority in the country for providing opportunities to disadvantaged children.

Despite this. Chancellor George Osborne’s Budget would take control of schools away from the council and see them run by academy trusts, receiving their funding from central government instead of the local authority.

Cllr Elaine Norman (Newbury, Lab), said in a statement: ““Any shift away from this model, which is helping so many young people to achieve, needs to be properly thought through and evidenced to ensure that children receive the best education and are able to realise their potential.

“We are eager to see the evidence that shows how academies will drive up standards, and we are also eager to hear how a move to academies would affect the Council’s responsibilities and duties towards schools in the Borough.

“It is difficult for us to comment further on this matter until the full implications of such a decision is known and information is fed through from central Government.”

However, leader of the council’s Conservative Opposition, Cllr Paul Canal (Bridge,Cons), felt the council was overreacting.

He said:“This is a knee-jerk reaction to the chancellor’s Budget announcement yesterday and it is incredibly foolish to take a stance without having actually read the proposals.

“I for one won’t be commenting on the proposal until I have had a chance to read it properly, but this council likes to manage by press release rather than intellect.”


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