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WOODHEAD SUPPORTS TORY PLANS FOR FREE SCHOOLS

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Chief schools inspector Chris Woodhead has welcomed Tory proposals to give schools the freedom to opt out of local ...
Chief schools inspector Chris Woodhead has welcomed Tory proposals to give schools the freedom to opt out of local education authorities, according to the Financial Times (p5).

The plan is part of the Conservative's new manifesto 'The Common Sense Revolution' which also includes expanding private health cover and giving patients new guaranteed waiting times for treatment.

On the education plans Chris Woodhead said: 'Obviously much of what the LEAs do at present does not have democratic significance. The provision of support services for schools could be done by anybody with a market, there is no doubt about that.'

Meanwhile in the Guardian (p1) David Hart, leader of the National Association of Head Teachers, called the proposal to give parents the power to sack heads 'outrageous'. And Nigel de Gruchy, general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters-Union of Women Teachers, said it would be 'licensed lynch mobs'.

The Financial Times (p5) also reported on a Conservative pledge to cut the tax burden and reduce public spending. An aide to shadow chancellor Francis Maude said concerns about how this would effect borrowing under-estimated the importance of a ceiling on public spending. A stabilisation fund, which could be drawn on in a recession, would be set up.
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