The Green Party has criticised Education Secretary Nicky Morgan for 'playing political games with children’s futures' as she announced government plans to change the criteria for “coasting” schools. Previously schools where at least 40% of pupils were achieving five A*-C grades at GCSE fell into that category but plans announced today by the Education Secretary will see that raised to 60%, meaning more schools will become subject to government intervention and likely turned over to academy status.
The Green Party say they strongly believe that education policy should be about giving teachers autonomy to teach, and ensuring that schools are run for the best interests of pupils, not committing to an ideology which is damaging children’s education.
Green Party schools spokesperson, Samantha Pancheri, said: "This ploy of redefining criteria to distort public perception of a situation is becoming a common tactic from the Conservatives. It is telling that, even in the government’s own terms, the academies programme has failed to provide the promised solution for struggling schools, as the evidence clearly demonstrates that academies do not show improved exam results at any higher a rate than schools which remain under the local authority."
Ms Pancheri continued: "In another triumph of political ideology over evidence-based policy, Nicky Morgan is playing games with children’s futures as the government sinks to new depths to defend their dreadful record on education reforms. It is abundantly clear that the Conservatives have little respect for the diverse nature of teaching, and the widespread ways in which a child’s life can be positively impacted by a supportive learning environment."
"This does an enormous disservice to teachers already struggling to meet arbitrary targets and will only exacerbate the culture of teaching to the test. We must move education back to being pupil and teacher-centred, with accountability at the most local and democratic level." Samantha Pancheri added.