Reactions to academies U-turn.

‘Despite official efforts to bury the bad news under Friday’s election coverage, Morgan’s climbdown over the forced academisation of schools has been widely publicised, and celebrated across the political spectrum.

The mantra of choice and competition, kickstarted by the Tories in the late 1980s, rings utterly hollow under a government characterised by a crass, heavy-handed centralism on everything from school structures to the curriculum. But things are not centralised (or merely efficient) enough to avert the crisis in school places, teacher recruitment and workload, or to sort out an increasingly rogue school admissions system.

We are left with a supremely English mess. The government is still committed, in theory, to an all-academy system by 2022, and has pledged to force immediate conversion on schools that don’t meet rigidly prescribed benchmarks. Given that it is largely schools in poorer areas, serving poorer children, that fail to make the often unrealistic grade, look out for a return of partisan and now vengeful rhetoric about “underperforming” Labour local authorities. - Guardian

‘Nicky Morgan’s climbdown on her plan to force all of England’s schools to become academies could yet be her best decision as Education Secretary and the making of her period in office. 

The distraction of the EU Referendum explains in part why the whips failed to anticipate the hostility from councillors and Conservative MPs to the wholesale academy plan. But other factors were at play too.

 The Department for Education has been badly hollowed out and many of the most experienced officials have left. It is as a result suffering from financial, administrative and policy problems. Elements of the Department became out of touch with the education establishment and warning signals were not transmitted.’ - Telegraph

‘What’s striking about government’s many u-turns is that they appear to have been forced on it by Conservative backbench MPs.

The Tories won a slender majority of just 12 seats in the 2015 general election.

And that means that Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron and his government finds it hard to govern. Even a small rebellion in his own party means he risks losing a Commons vote.

Mr Cameron portrays himself as a “liberal” or “one nation” Conservative. But some of his MPs are a bit more right wing.

So we might have expected his MPs to try to force the Government to move to the right.

In fact, we keep on seeing the Government take a hard-line view - only for Tory MPs to demand a moderate approach.’ – Birmingham Mail

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