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Andy Burnham MP, Labour's Shadow Education Secretary, commenting on the Tory-led Government's changes to the academies scheme, said:

"The Tory-led government has distorted Labour’s Academies scheme from one which improves the weakest schools to one which helps only the strongest at the expense of the majority of other schools. 

"Labour's Academies scheme offered greater resources, new leadership and a fresh start to schools which were struggling. The Tory-led government's Academies programme focuses the extra resources and freedoms that we gave to struggling schools on to those already doing well. 

"Labour worked to ensure that schools with high numbers of children eligible for free school meals and registered as having Special Educational Needs got the extra resources they needed to excel. The Tory-led government's Academies programme will mean local authority funds for these vital services will be cut to fund additional resources for the few.

"This is part of Michael Gove's free-market experiment with our schools system. As ever with this Secretary of State he has got his figures hopelessly wrong, he promised over 1,000 new academies. Only a fifth of that number have come forward. That shows the real reservations headteachers have about this government's direction of travel towards a divided, elitist and competitive education system."

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