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In which the BBC's James Silver queries Secretary of State Michael Gove about his views on what consultation should consist of in terms of schools becoming academies.
James Silver: "We asked the Secretary of State whether it was acceptable that publicly owned assests like schools should be handed over without full consultation with parents and the wider community."
Michael Gove: "The assets remain public assets, the schools remain state schools. No one is discriminated against by the school becoming an academy."
James Silver: "But they’re breaking free from the local authortiy, in that sense, they’re breaking free, (as many parents would have it), from the community."
Michael Gove: "So far I’ve been struck by the fact that most of those people who’ve been opposed to schools becoming academies tend to be people with political links of one kind or another. They may be predisposed not to like the government’s policies – that’s fair enough, it’s a democracy…people can take different views. What’s striking is that you actually have parent groups springing up demanding that schools become an academy.
James Silver: "But what constitutes, in your view, a proper consultation process – should parents be consulted, is just writing a letter to parents enough?"
Michael Gove: "I think the consultation process should really be for the head and the governors to decide themselves."