OK, I’ll start off with the usual disclaimer that they are not as bad as the Tories. They really aren’t.
Right, bad points:
– City academies. They may temporarily boost a local area but in the long run they are an evil force. The involvement of private companies is sickening, trying to brand children, stick their crappy logos on uniforms, displaying a total disregard for decency by teaching creationism in science and generally enslave a community. Very bad mistake for Labour to keep this failed Tory policy.
– Selection. Even at 10%. Any selection on ‘aptitude’ or ‘ability’ is wrong and must be fought.
– Forced uniforms and ‘houses.’ Yes they are stupid and yes I would vote against them, but in the end they are a cheap ploy to attract the middle classes and will not change schools much at all.
– Giving schools their budget directly, instead of through an ineffective middleman.
– Making all schools specialist. Because, effectively, they will all become the same again! If everyone is specialist, then Labour have furthered the idea of comprehensives not destroyed it, and reduced inequality. Similarly, while 10% selection is bad, making most schools specialist will aid the fight against this. If every school selects 10%, it will become meaningless. People will just go to their nearest specialist school, whether they are in the 10% selected or not. A clever move.
– Increased funding. Everything needs cash!
So overall, dangerous policies but not as bad as they might appear, and certainly not as brain dead stupid as giving money to private schools (or ‘charities’, as they still like to call themselves.)
This is not the destruction of the comprehensive, and if city academies and the (albeit limited) selection was gone I would be much happier. Let us hope that the figure of 200 does not grow. However, it is mitigated by the fact Labour has been building more schools anyway.