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Labour would let councils to take over 'failing academies'

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The shadow education secretary has announced plans to abolish free schools and introduce greater local democratic control for academies.

Angela Rayner described the current academy system as “simply not fit for purpose” and added local authorities would be allowed to take control of failing academies under a Labour government.

Speaking at the party’s conference on Monday Ms Rayner said: “Labour will end the forced conversion of local schools to academies, scrap the inefficient free school programme and instead focus on delivering what works to get the best results for pupils.”

Ms Rayner also announced that Labour would introduce “further regulation” of supply teacher fees through a new state supply agency. The shadow education secretary said that total costs for substitute teachers had increased 20% in the past five years, leading to complaints from the National Association of Head Teachers.

Ms Rayner said: “At a time when our schools have to ask parents to give extra money for books and classroom essentials, it’s crazy we’re spending half a billion pounds a year just on agency fees.

“That money should be spent on teachers and the badly needed resources our children need to get a world class education, and under a Labour government it would.”

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