Watching the Labour leadership candidates on education

Have had a quick look at the websites for each of the candidates for Labour leader to see what they have to say on education.

A quick summary:

Andy Burnham – limited mentions of education on website.
Ed Miliband – Blog post on BSF cuts, but little else on schools.
David Miliband – Campaign on charitable staus for private schools and a tell me your ideas for education section.
Ed Balls – former education secretary. Leading on BSF fiasco and putting the government on the spot.
Diane Abbott – Something on higher tuition fees, but can’t see anything on schools.

As you might expect, Ed Balls has a bit of an advantage at the moment, given that the big political issue of the week/month is BSF. There is a slight danger that he could be seen to be defending what has gone before just because it was his department so he needs to be a bit careful. The BSF process does have its faults, as would any programme of its size.

The only candidate who appears to have asked for input on the issue is David Miliband. I think that this is the right approach. To be honest, whatever policies we may have for education now will have to be revised in the light what the landscape looks like when someone else has the chance to influence it. In five years we could have 1000 Academies and 500 free schools in the system, so the wait and see approach may be best.

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