Lancashire TelegraphLancashire Tories attack education secretary Michael Gove over academy 'bribes' (From Lancashire Telegraph)

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Lancashire Tories attack education secretary Michael Gove over academy 'bribes'

LEADING Tory councillors have stepped up their attacks on the Government’s strategy of forcing primary schools to become academies.

They have joined attacks on Education Secretary Michael Gove for “bribing”, “bullying” and “cajoling” heads and governors to leave local authority control to take the free-standing status.

Michael Lee, lead of Blackburn with Darwen Tory group, joined in Labour criticism of the Cabinet Minister as the borough’s executive board approved the transfer of land for Wensley Fold Primary to the ownership of the governing body.

Geoff Driver, Conservative leader of Lancashire County Council, backed up local head teachers’ boss Tony Roberts criticism of Mr Gove for “cajoling” junior schools into academy status by rejecting the Education Secretary’s claims that local primaries were “sub-standard”.

Last week Blackburn with Darwen Council signed over the land at Wensley Fold Primary which will become an Academy from March 1, on a 125 year lease.

The loss of Manor Road school, which underwent a £3million council-funded extension two years ago, was strongly criticised by Labour councillors at the borough executive board.

Education chief Tony Humphrys said the school had been 'bribed' to take the status and property boss Dave Harling said a valuable assets had been stripped from the borough’s land portfolio.

Coun Lee agreed the move was “unfortunate”, adding the council should have received compensation for the land transfer, including a lodge on the edge of the playing fields, from the government to support other schools.

Mr Roberts, secretary of the Lancashire branch of the National Association of Head Teachers said Mr Gove had been using “pretty heavy handed” tactics by offering schools inducement of up to £40,000.

He added: “He is going round the schools trying to cajole schools into becoming an academy.”

Coun Driver, who has accused Mr Gove of “bully-boy tactics”, said: “In 2011 69 per cent of schools in Lancashire improved compared to the national average of 29 per cent.”

He paid tribute to the efforts of teachers. He said: “Our schools are doing a marvellous job and improving standards all the time.

“It’s counter-productive to force them down the academy route.”

Comments (4)

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5:52pm Mon 18 Feb 13

mavrick says...

Will Michael Gove two hoots what local councillors Think? I am afraid this is no more than a publicity stunt.
Will Michael Gove two hoots what local councillors Think? I am afraid this is no more than a publicity stunt. mavrick
  • Score: 1

8:22pm Mon 18 Feb 13

I_Love_Mommy says...

“Our schools are doing a marvellous job and improving standards all the time. That's why folk can't spell any more...
“Our schools are doing a marvellous job and improving standards all the time. That's why folk can't spell any more... I_Love_Mommy
  • Score: 0

11:09pm Mon 18 Feb 13

Jack Herer says...

mavrick wrote:
Will Michael Gove two hoots what local councillors Think? I am afraid this is no more than a publicity stunt.
Would you applaud anything a Tory councillor did?

Personally I think this is more good work from our local Tories. I don't agree with them on a national level, but neither do our local councillors it would seem. On a local level though - keep up the good work!
[quote][p][bold]mavrick[/bold] wrote: Will Michael Gove two hoots what local councillors Think? I am afraid this is no more than a publicity stunt.[/p][/quote]Would you applaud anything a Tory councillor did? Personally I think this is more good work from our local Tories. I don't agree with them on a national level, but neither do our local councillors it would seem. On a local level though - keep up the good work! Jack Herer
  • Score: -8

8:57am Tue 19 Feb 13

charles22 says...

Yet Jack Straw gave his whole-hearted support to QEGS becoming a free school. Thus allowing a failed business model to continue with its policy of elitism and selection at the tax-payers expense. Socialism when it suits.
Yet Jack Straw gave his whole-hearted support to QEGS becoming a free school. Thus allowing a failed business model to continue with its policy of elitism and selection at the tax-payers expense. Socialism when it suits. charles22
  • Score: 0

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