By Claire Wesr
The NASUWT, the largest teachers' union, is today backing a motion at the TUC which condemns the Coalition's use of emergency legislation to force through its unpopular and unwanted policies on academies and free schools.
Paula Roe, NASUWT Junior Vice President, will speak in support of the motion and will say:
"These academies proposed by Michael Gove and the Coalition Government are completely different from those of the previous Government.
"They are the product of hasty, emergency legislation procedures previously used to deal with Acts of Terrorism or dangerous dogs. "The Academies Act is a blatant attempt to dismantle state education despite there being little evidence to demonstrate that academy schools, or any structural changes, raise standards of education.
"It is Tory policy and will create a divided society, cause educational apartheid and widen the educational inequality gap. "These free schools skim funding from other schools in their area, drain pupils from those schools and totally undermine community cohesion.
"Free schools are not free; they will cost more and deliver less. "We are faced with relentless propaganda telling the public that academies and free schools are the way forward, that there is no alternative. But there is. State education has to remain."
Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:
"The Academies Act was bludgeoned through Parliament with indecent haste. "The Coalition Government's ideological obsession with academy and free schools is not based on sound educational evidence that those schools deliver higher educational outcomes for pupils. "The recent National Audit Office report has clearly said that academies widen social and educational inequality.
"The Coalition Government needs to stop riding roughshod over the state education system and start listening to teachers, parents, pupils and the public who simply want a good, local state school in their area. "If the Coalition Government proceeds with its obsessive promotion of academies and free schools, it will simply prove that it is hell-bent on wrecking a state education system that provides entitlement to high quality education for all children and young people."