Newcastle Lib Dems have expressed concern at reports that the Conservative Government is set to announce that all schools in England will be required to become academies free from local authority control and oversight.
Lib Dems believe that local education authorities should continue to have a role in school provision and education in their areas. Whilst continued focus on improvement of educational attainment is vital, Lib Dems consider that there are significant issues relating to accountability of academies, and are concerned that the change will fundamentally weaken the role of councils, councillors, governors, and parents.
Reacting, Lib Dem Opposition spokesman on children and young people Cllr Nick Cott (West Gosforth) commented:
"I am appalled by the prospect of forced academisation on all schools. Local authorities work in partnership with schools, and the services they provide generally demonstrate value for money. This decision is part of a Conservative agenda to formalise, and make universal, the market competition within the school sector. I fail to see how this dogmatic approach will be in the best interests of our children and young people."