I was genuinely shocked to read in national newspapers on Saturday 15th October that you were quoted as saying that you “back the setting up of free schools”
Two and a half weeks ago I spoke with others against free schools during the Labour Party Conference. Not one delegate or shadow minister intimated that they were in favour.
Currently I and my fellow councillors across the country are attempting to defend good local authority schools from the daily attacks being launched by Michael Gove. The free school movement is simply aimed at taking taxpayers money and funding schools which can select the children they educate with no accountability to the local community. They also can employ unqualified teachers.
On what basis do you have the authority to overturn Labour’s education policy without mentioning it at our recent conference? Can I challenge you, rather than brief your local paper about this attempt to change Labour Party policy, you instead convene a conference for Labour members and see how far your views are supported by the Labour Party.
Cllr Peter Walker
Cabinet member for Education, London Borough for Merton
Delegate to 2011 Labour Conference