Campaign success as Heart MAT restructure suspended

I’m delighted that the Heart MAT restructure – which I know has caused so much concern – has been suspended while the Department for Education is brought in to mediate.

The campaigners have been absolutely amazing, and this is an immense achievement. I’m so happy to have been able to lend my support to so many determined and passionate people.

This is just the first step – the pressure must be maintained and I’ll do all I can to support the aims of the campaigners going forward.

Academy trusts fall outside the remit of local government and fall directly under the Department of Education. I have repeatedly raised issues with the lack of accountability of academy trusts. Now here in Bedford, we are seeing just how wrong things could go because of this lack of accountability.

The Shadow Education Secretary Angela Raynor announced recently that Labour would halt the academies programme and give control back to local councils to run schools where there has been a failure by Academy Trusts. The residents of Bedford are being let down by this governments mismanaged education agenda, and I am delighted to see them fighting back.

Local communities should be able to have their say over local services. The next Labour government will give power back to communities so that our schools are run by the people who know them best – parents, teachers and local communities.

The Trust need to ditch these plans for good, recognise the achievements of these schools and build on the incredible community spirit that we’ve seen in this campaign.