Chuka Umunna: Government Trying To Impose Academy Status On Lambeth Schools

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Chuka Umunna has demanded the DfE comes clean about the Lambeth schools
Chuka Umunna has demanded the DfE comes clean about the Lambeth schools

Primary schools in London face having unwanted academy status secretly forced on them by the government, a shadow minister has claimed.

Chuka Umunna has demanded the Department for Education (DfE) comes clean on plans to change the Lambeth schools into academies. Schools minister Nick Gibb has confirmed three primaries have been targeted as possible schools to be converted to academies but refuse to release the names.

Umunna, shadow secretary of state for Business, Innovation and Skills, claims he did not received a sufficient response to his parliamentary questions which he asked on behalf of his constituency Streatham and has now submitted a Freedom of Information request on the matter.

"Parents deserve to know the facts about any proposed top-down interference in our local schools," he said. Umunna described the government's designs on the three primaries as "deeply worrying".

Umunna has publicly stated he is "slightly hesitant about the academies programme".

"What was very clear to me was that in making the decision whether or not to adopt academy status, the governors just felt they didn’t understand the issues or have access to the information to make an informed decision," he said in a previous interview.

Under new government laws, the DfE has the authority to convert a school into an academy if it falls outside Ofsted required standards and has not improved within six months.