A debate on the Government’s controversial academies programme Tony Blair may be long gone, but his education legacy lives on in the form of that most controversial schools policy: the academy programme. Despite the departure of the most passionate advocate of these new schools, academies remain a source of bitter disagreement and division. Are privately run and autonomous schools in the state sector the way to bring much needed innovation into the system? Or are they a dangerous dilution of the principle of state education, unfairly attracting resources which would be better spent on deserving comprehensive schools?

Jonathan Dimbleby brings together a panel of authoritative voices from both sides of the argument in front of an audience of parents, teachers and pupils for the latest Big Debate. Panellists include anti-academies campaigner Fiona Millar and former Blair policy advisor Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Arts, a body which itself sponsors and works with academies.

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