David Laws admits his heart wasn't in his defence of Government's free schools policy
Richard Garner has been Education Editor of The Independent for 12 years and writing about the subject for 34 years. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a disc jockey in London pubs and clubs and for a hospital radio station. His main hobbies are cricket (watching these days) and theatre. On his days off, he is most likelt to be found at Lord’s or the King’s Head Theatre Club.
Wednesday 23 October 2013
Schools minister David Laws admitted on Wednesday his heart might not have been in a robust defence of the Government’s policy made in the wake of a damning inspectors’ report on a Muslim free school.
Liberal Democrat MP Mr Laws faced a grilling by members of the Commons Select Committee on Education as his party leader, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg put the finishing touches on a speech to be made on Thursday set to be critical of aspects of the free schools policy.
In particular, he is anxious that free schools should abide by the national curriculum and that parents should have a guarantee that their children are taught by a professionally trained teacher.
In the wake of the report by education standards watchdog Ofsted on the Al-Madinah school in Derby criticising the school for having too few trained staff, Mr Laws defended the Government’s policy of allowing its free schools and academies to employ non-trained teachers.
However, he told the MPs: “If I went to the House of Commons in Michael Gove’s absence (the Education Secretary was abroad) to take an urgent question on free schools and gave the view of the Liberal Democrat party, I think he would be entitled when he came back to be a little bit upset.
“If the Labour party ever needs to be in a coalition, you will find yourself occasionally voting for things that wouldn’t be your first preference. Coalition demands compromises.”
He said he supported - and had helped draft - a motion at the Liberal Democrat conference calling for an entitlement for parents to have excellent teachers and for staff without qualifications to be working towards them.
Mr Clegg is expected to say on Thursday: “It makes no sense to me to have qualified teacher status if only a few schools have to employ qualified teachers.”
Simon Calder looks at communities fighting back against the poachers
Arsenal 1 Everton 1: Substitute equalises with six minutes to go
booksGeese, gorillas, grandads... and growing up
Guide dog mauled while helping owner deliver Christmas cards
The poorest pay the price for austerity: Workers face biggest fall in living standards since Victorian era
Icon or terrorist: Nelson Mandela’s complex bond with Britain
Deadly ice storm sees US temperatures drop to -29C
Millions of families living in poverty despite being in employment says new study
- 1 Turning up the voice of America
- 2 The poorest pay the price for austerity: Workers face biggest fall in living standards since Victorian era
- 3 The man who made Femen: New film outs Victor Svyatski as the mastermind behind the protest group and its breast-baring stunts
- 4 Mass murder in the Middle East is funded by our friends the Saudis
- 5 Japan cracks down on leaks after scandal of Fukushima nuclear power plant
- < Previous
- Next >
£31000 - £43000 per annum: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: This se...
£27000 - £45000 per annum: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: Lambeth...
£22000 - £38000 per annum: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: This se...
£22000 - £37000 per annum: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: This se...