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News round-up 30/7: DfE accused of racism

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Your daily media round up of all the key stories affecting local government


A senior Cambridge University academic has hit out at the government’s free school policy after the Department for Education rejected a plan by two woman teachers to set up a school to steer pupils – especially black boys – away from gang culture in south London, the Independent reports. Dr Michael Hrebeniak, director of English studies and senior admissions tutor at Wolfson College, Cambridge, accused the department of racism and sexism. He was set to become a governor at the Diaspora High School in Lewisham.



Global business leaders are urging the coalition to alter its economic policy, as prime minister David Cameron tries to use the Olympic Games as a platform to boost investment, reports the Financial Times. Following last week’s news that the UK economy shrank by 0.7% in the last quarter, investors have raised concern about the impact of the government’s economic management and the impact of the eurozone crisis on the UK economy. Despite the criticism, government officials have defended the decision to use the Games as a trade opportunity for Britain, stating that the atmosphere at business meetings has been “solid” and “constructive”, the paper says.



The Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion (CESI) warns that nearly one million unemployed people will be forced to carry out unpaid work for six months if the government’s new Community Action scheme goes ahead, reports the Guardian. CESI chief executive Dave Simmonds has criticised the scheme, warning that “we have to be careful about a one-size fits all solution for the long-term unemployed by requiring them to work for their benefits”. However, Chris Grayling defended the programme, arguing that “full-time community work should be part of the support we provide for the long term unemployed”, the paper says. The programme is expected to be announced in October.


Conservative party

Three quarters of local Conservative associations are losing activists as the party suffers a recruitment crisis, the Independent reports. The results come from a survey conducted by the ConservativeHome website.

Meanwhile, a poll for the Independent found Boris Johnson has emerged as the favourite, among Conservative voters, to succeed David Cameron as leader of the Conservatives. The survey of 1,419 activists showed 32% would support Mr Johnson as the next leader. Support for George Osborne, who was previously seen as a contender for leadership, had declined dramatically to just 2%.

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