Lucy Powell MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, commenting on Sir Michael Wilshaw’s speech on school attainment in Greater Manchester and Liverpool, said:
“It’s clear that more powers need to be devolved to local areas - the elected Mayors of Greater Manchester and Liverpool would be a good place to start.
“However, the Education and Adoption Bill back in the House of Commons today goes in the opposite direction further centralising powers in Whitehall and fragmenting our schools system rather than giving local areas the power and responsibility to ensure a step change in school results.
“The Tories’ new school funding formula could also hit areas like Liverpool and Manchester hard. Labour supports fairer funding but these areas are likely to take a big hit. There should be mitigation in the system to protect school standards and ensure a loss of funding doesn’t hamstring local areas.
“If the Northern Powerhouse strategy is to mean anything it must allow local communities the ability to tackle the root causes of low attainment, and not to further centralise schools policy.”