In a letter to The Independent (Review, p2) Ms Abbott says what privatisation of Hackney LBC's education service will do is 'put tens of thousands of pounds, which should be spent in schools, in the pockets of consultants and contractors. And it will undermine local control'.
She says: 'At no time have local people been consulted about this. And privatising the education authority was not part of the local election manifesto or my manifesto at the general election, for the very good reason that this is not Labour Party policy.
'If ministers really want to raise standards in areas like Hackney they should try giving teachers a decent salary rise,' she says.
She concludes: 'New Labour is prepared to sacrifice the life chances of poor children on the altar of low taxation, and rely instead on gimmicky management changes and consultants.'