We won’t repeal Gove’s school reforms, admits Labour

Labour will not undo Michael Gove's school reforms, many of which have been "successful" the shadow education secretary admitted today.

In comments that will infuriate Gove's opponents, Hunt said many of the education secretary's reforms were simply continuing Labour policies.

"I don't think you want to waste political energy on undoing reforms, that in certain situations build actually rather successfully on Labour party policy," Tristram Hunt told the Sunday Politics today.

"We introduced the sponsored academy programmes, we began the Teach First system in schools, we began the London challenge which transformed the educational prospects of young people in inner urban districts in London."

"Our challenge in government is to roll that out across the country."

He insisted that Labour would not continue with Gove's controversial free school programme, but added that he would instead launch new "parent-led academies" instead.

He denied that these would just be "free schools in all but name" insisting that they would only go ahead in areas where there is a shortage of school places.

Free schools can currently be built, even in areas where there is a surplus of places.

He said that Labour would insist that all state school teachers are qualified or in the process of gaining qualifications before being allowed to teach.

"If they're not interested in improving their skills then I don't think they should be in the classroom," he added.

Hunt today unveiled plans to force teenagers to continue studying Maths and English up to 18.

Under Labour's plans, pupils would continue to study maths and English as one of the four compulsory components of the National Baccalaureate.