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MORE SPONSORS COMING FORWARD FOR ACADEMIES, SAYS KELLY

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Labour is well on the way to meeting its target of 200 city academies built by 2010, education secretary Ruth Kelly...
Labour is well on the way to meeting its target of 200 city academies built by 2010, education secretary Ruth Kelly said.

'The question is not whether 200 academies is too ambitious but whether 200 is sufficient', she told BBC Radio Four's Today programme this morning.

Asked whether the academy programme had been dented by the fact that one of the sponsors is being investigated in the 'cash for peerages' scandal, Ms Kelly said that, on the contrary, there was a surge of interest in academies.

'Over half a dozen new sponsors have come forward in the past few weeks,' she said. 'We already have 100 commitments and 100 academy projects in the pipeline. We're well ahead of schedule.'

Sponsors were not expecting an honour in return, she said. But, Ms Kelly said, 'if someone's prepared in a public spirited fashion to come forward, give their time, money, energy and commitment to helping some of the most disadvantaged children in the country, isn't it only right that at some point in the future we should think about whether they are the sort of person who might deserve an honour'?

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