Reform schools

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Jim Murphy is right to highlight the shocking inequality of our schools system. However, his plan to “embrace English style educational reforms” does not go far enough.

We would do well to look at another reform in England which is creating a fundamental change in a completely different way than the media would have us believe: the right to opt out of local authority control.

Yes, there have been high-profile problems in some areas, and yes, the Tories were hoping to use it as a way to privatise more of the state system.

But that has backfired – as over 450 schools and academies have opted to become co-operative trusts.

These are set up with assistance from the Co-operative movement and are run through a membership group of stakeholders elected from parents, learners, staff and the community. They uphold co-operative values and are far more similar to the Scandinavian model (where wealth is not directly related to achievement) than to our central controlled one.

In the current political ­climate in Scotland, where the main parties are fighting to show their socialist credentials, now is an apposite time to look at these different models and give the people a real say in the running of their schools.

Peter Brady

Leamington Terrace

Edinburgh