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A Win for LibDems on Academies

July 17, 2016 4:03 PM
Nicky Morgan held to account (BBC)

Nicky Morgan forced to U-Turn on Academies

In April of this year Councillor Julia Cherrett launched a petition to prevent local schools in the Stockton area being forced to become academies. In May, Nicky Morgan, Secretary of State for education backed down on her plans. Our thanks to all those people from across Stockton and across the political divide that signed the petition.

Now, much as we would like to think that it was our petition that had forced the Secretary of State's hand, it was pressure from teachers and head teachers, education experts, MPs, Lords and councillors like Julia that combined to ensure a bad policy was not forced through. The fact that the Conservatives only have a small major and some of their own MPs understood that this was a completely uncalled for and unwelcome policy helped too.

Petitions like this one can and do influence government policy. We have a government elected by 36% of the electorate (which is 25% of the population). They hardly have a mandate for the policies in their manifesto let alone policies that they invent as they go along. Liberal Democrats believe in democracy - the clue is in the name. We will battle to make the British electoral system fairer and help prevent future governments running roughshod over the electorate.