Keep academies on track

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EDITOR – In a letter to your paper (August 31) I was criticised for my errors, so in the interests of accuracy I would like to point out that the words the writer of that letter referred to about ‘damn lies and statistics’ were not said by Stalin.

The quote is commonly thought to be from Mark Twain, who attributed it in turn to the 19th century British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli.

One of the speakers at the ‘anti’ meeting in Lincoln apparently is one Alasdair Smith. He is the National Secretary of the Anti Academies Alliance. In an interview he voiced his concerns about the Academies Bill because it will rapidly accelerate the division of our schools into the best and the rest. My point exactly Mr Smith!

If academies are the best why oppose them? The most vocal opposition comes from the trades unions.

They have consistently opposed the creation of academies and were outraged when a previous Schools Minister, David Milliband, said every FTSE company ought to become a sponsor for state secondary schools.

In March 2005 the NUT conference voted to fight Tony Blair’s academy status plans.

As to the creation of local academies, in their list of the most improved schools countrywide the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust for 2009 cited The Priory Witham Academy in Lincoln in four categories – most improved year on year, top nine most improved year on year including English and Maths, most improved by specialism (technology), most improved by region (East Midlands).

That was since the merger of the school with several others into an academy in 2007.

I understand that the ‘antis’ are trying to derail the academy programme in Lincolnshire.

In the interests of our children’s education we should all hope they do not succeed.

Iris Dainton

South Somercotes