Commenting on the Shadow Education Secretary Stephen Twigg's speech, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers' union, said:
"The Union is pleased to welcome Stephen Twigg's announcement today that Labour Party policy will require all schools to employ qualified teachers and that there will be a national system for pay and conditions. Also to be welcomed is the focus on fair admissions and the critique of the centralising policy of the current Secretary of State, in which all schools are run from Whitehall. The NUT will engage with the review Stephen Twigg has announced today of how Labour can provide a stronger framework of local accountability."
"Many teachers will be heartened to hear that there will no longer be a need to have a change of status in order to have the curriculum freedoms available to academies and free schools. Stephen Twigg is right to talk about the success of the London Challenge which resulted in school-led improvement, where professional teachers were trusted to work together to make system-wide improvements."
"Local democratic accountability, on school provision, place planning and fair admissions for all schools, is a policy aspiration the Union shares. However, allowing parents to open schools does not ensure coherent education provision. Current free school policy has clearly led to a waste of taxpayers' money in some instances. We await the policies which arise from today's speech with interest."