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Labour: 'Urgent clarification' needed on school closure

Shadow Education Secretary Stephen Twigg has written a letter to Education Secretary Michael Gove demanding urgent clarification over the temporary closure of a Muslim free school in derby.

This is, of course, not the first time that there have been questions surrounding your department's oversight of a free school.

While I understand that there is an ongoing investigation, the reports concerning this school are of extreme concern to parents and the wider community.

Given the confusion as to why the school has closed, and that pupils may be returning to the school on Monday, I would ask that these matters be clarified urgently in order to reassure the public.

– Stephen Twigg, Shadow Education Secretary

Labour blame Gove for shortage of school places

Stephen Twigg says the Education Secretary has been too slow to act. Credit: ITV News

Labour's shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg has said Michael Gove's decision to end primary school building has resulted in an expected shortage of primary school places.

"I've seen Michael Gove grand-standing today, suggesting somehow Labour can be blamed," he said.

"The root of this problem was the decision Michael Gove and David Cameron took in 2010, to end Labour's programme of primary school building," he added.

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Government 'squandering' Olympic sporting legacy

Labour have slammed the Government for 'squandering' the legacy of the Olympic Games.

The party claimed the Conservatives have no strategy for sport, have scrapped PE targets and have failed to capitalise on the spirit and enthusiasm of the volunteer games makers.

David Cameron and Michael Gove have failed to secure a school sport legacy.

All children should be getting a minimum of two hours of rigorous exercise and competitive sport every week. But this Government has made that less likely. They need to change course.

– Stephen Twigg MP, Shadow Education Secretary

Labour: Gove ‘keeps on failing’ to reform GCSEs

Stephen Twigg
Stephen Twigg has attacked Education Secretary Michael Gove. Credit: PA/PA Wire

Stephen Twigg, the shadow education secretary, has launched an attack on Michael Gove amid reports that GCSEs could be replaced by ‘I-levels’.

"This is now the third time Michael Gove has tried to abolish GCSEs," said the Labour MP.

“He keeps failing because he hasn't got a thought through plan to improve exams.

“Changing letters to numbers and the name of the exams is hardly the key to higher standards.”

Read: GCSEs 'to be replaced by I-levels’

Labour criticise timing of childcare pledge

Stephen Twigg, the shadow education secretary, has dismissed the government's move to help parents with childcare costs because the support only kicks in after the 2015 elections.

Parents will be disappointed that three years into this government they will not get any help with childcare costs for another two and a half years...

This announcement will not make up for the up to £1,500 that families on middle and low incomes have lost in cuts to childcare support – part of the £15 billion of cuts to support for children which will have been implemented before this announcement takes effect.

– shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg

Shadow Education Secretary: Childcare support 'critical'

Labour's Shadow Education Secretary Stephen Twigg, who is chairing the party's Childcare Commission, said it is "critical" families are supported with rising childcare costs.

He said: "Labour would help families with the cost of childcare. This is critical to ensure that work pays and that parents - particularly women - are able to go back to work if they want. That isn't just morally right, it's good for the economy too."

Childcare costs mean full-time work is now hardly worthwhile for many "second earners" in middle and low income families, it was reported.
Childcare costs mean full-time work is now hardly worthwhile for many "second earners" in middle and low income families, it was reported. Credit: Edmond Terakopian/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Mr Twigg continued: "We want to explore cooperative models, whereby local parents have a far bigger say in running their local nursery and get a share of the profits. Childcare centres are run successfully along these lines in Sweden and in some parts of the UK already.

"We want to see this model expand. Cooperative childcare can reduce costs to parents, provide more flexibility for those who work and can reach communities which don't have enough nurseries."

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Labour: Gove risks return to two-tier exam system

New GCSE exam reforms could risk a return to a two-tier system, Shadow Education Secretary Stephen Twigg responded today. Mr Twigg said:

The problem with these changes are they are totally out of date, from a Tory-led Government totally out of touch with modern Britain.

Whatever the reassurances, this risks a return to a two-tier system which left thousands of children on the scrap heap at the age of 16.

Schools do need to change as all children stay on in education to 18 and we face up to the challenges of the 21st Century. We won't achieve that with a return to the 1980s.

Labour: GCSE pupils have been done a disservice

It is clear that pupils, parents and education professionals, across the spectrum of schools, feel that pupils have been done a disservice.

“Whilst the Education Secretary Michael Gove says he is ‘saddened’ by the injustice that has been served to thousands of pupils, he is showing how out-of-touch he is with pupil opinion by refusing to take action.

Labour supports calls for an independent inquiry to get to the bottom of this mess.

– Stephen Twigg MP, Shadow Education Secretary

Labour: Free schools are 'waste of public money'

Shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg has branded money free schools 'a waste of public' money.

Speaking on the Sky News Murnaghan programme, he said:

Some of the free schools opening are fully subscribed, they will be brilliant, successful schools and I wish them well.

A number of local authorities have recognised the only way to get money from this Government for a new school is to have a free school.

You've innovative teachers and headteachers opening free schools - I applaud all of that.

But the problem we have got is the Government puts all of its eggs in the basket of free schools, so when they fail it is a waste of public money.

The programme is not being tailored to those parts of the country that most need additional school places.

– Stephen Twigg, shadow education secretary

Schooling inequality a 'national scandal'

Shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg
Shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg Credit: PA

It is a "national scandal" that poorer pupils are lagging up to a year behind their richer classmates in their schooling, shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg is expected to warn later.

In a speech to the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) annual conference in Manchester, Mr Twigg will say: "In other words, being a poor pupil in a poor classroom is the equivalent of being left a year behind. This is a national scandal.

"I know there are inequalities in our health system, but if poorer patients were left to linger on waiting lists for an extra year there would be a huge outcry."

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