While Labour stresses that GM status would go, Mr Blunkett urged local education authorities again at the weekend to adopt a "flexible partnership" with schools. But just how flexible it would have to be to satisfy the schools is made clear in a letter to Mr Blunkett from Sir Robert Balchin, chairman of the Grant Maintained Schools Centre.
Influential heads have acknowledged they would be prepared to compromise on some points - such as allowing local authority representatives on to their governing bodies. But Sir Robert said some questions about Labour policy in his letter were "non-negotiable". These included: would GM schools remain incorporated bodies independent of local education authorities? And would the funding of GM schools be through them?
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