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  1. I went to the meeting as a new ‘lay’ party member, parent and grandparent. I was not aware of the details of the WCAT failure and was deeply concerned that this could happen. Background here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-41782821 and here https://www.theguardian.com/education/2017/oct/21/collapsing-wakefield-city-academies-trust-asset-stripped-schools-millions-say-furious-parents .
    I was most concerned that the Academy system was expanded by a Labour Government, taking control of those schools away from LEAs, but that proposals at the meeting to put them back in to LEA control didn’t address why they had been removed in the first place. The wider electorate (let alone parents and education professionals) will expect a detailed explanation and plan before they support another reorganisation. The last Labour Manifesto introduced a Policy of a National Education Service but didn’t address the issue of Academies apart from saying that schools wouldn’t be forced to become Academies. See https://labour.org.uk/manifesto/education/ . Maybe it’s time to remove all schools from direct LEA management, giving Local councilors an overseeing and influencing role while management is done regionally and locally by the DfE?

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