Corbyn: Labour will let councils build new schools and take over academies

A Labour government will let councils open and run new schools and take over academies, Jeremy Corbyn has told Schools Week.

Speaking following his speech to the annual conference of the National Association of Head Teachers in Telford today, the Labour leader expanded on plans set out by the shadow chancellor John McDonnell to “restore” the role of the local education authority.

When asked whether he would allow councils to set up and run new schools, something which is currently not allowed under the government’s free schools programme, Corbyn said he would, adding that he was “not in favour of expanding free schools”.

“At the moment if any area needs a new school, which some do, the council cannot as a local, education authority build a school even if they want to. It has to be a free school that is built, and that seems to me to be dictatorial on the councils.

“What I want to do is give them the authority to build a new school if one is needed.”

Corbyn also said councils would be allowed to take over those schools that are currently academies “where they want to”, but said they would not be forced to do so.

Your thoughts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

One comment

  1. Mark Watson

    Wow. So Jeremy Corbyn spoke to SchoolsWeek and this is what you came away with?
    Genuinely, was the only question you asked “would you allow councils to set up and run new schools”?
    No other education issues you think might have been relevant to ask the Leader of the Opposition a few weeks before a General Election?
    And no questioning of the glib political soundbite that Labour would allow Councils to take over academies, but they wouldn’t be forced to?
    What does that even mean?
    Would Councils be empowered to forcibly take over academies, against the wishes of the academy trust, against the wishes of the school itself?
    And what about the question of ‘toxic schools’ which you have gone on and on about ad infinitum when it comes to academy trusts not taking them over. Why would a Council, on a stretched budget, take on a school which came with a financial millstone round its neck?
    For pity’s sake, SchoolsWeek describes itself as “in-depth, investigative education journalism, determined to get past the bluster and explain the facts”.
    I can’t imagine you merely parroting whatever the Conservative party said about education (and neither should you), so what should we read into you not questioning Labour?