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Prince Andrew takes on academy school role


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The Duke of York is backing one of the Government's most controversial education schemes by becoming president of an academy school.


Andrew is to take the role at the Wellington Academy, a new school in Wiltshire sponsored by the private Wellington College.


Unions and some Labour MPs have attacked the academies scheme as the "privatisation" of state education.


Anthony Seldon, Master of Wellington College, said: "Support for an academy by the Royal Family is a very significant moment in the history of this innovative model of schooling, which I see as one of the most significant educational ideas to emerge for several decades.


"Academies bring greater independence within the state system and help bridge the divide between independent and state schools.


"I believe that every independent school should either be founding an academy or taking part in a trust or federation."


Up to 100 boarding places will be available at the school, many of which are expected to be taken by the children of forces families.


Schools Secretary Ed Balls welcomed the announcement. He said: "I'm delighted that Prince Andrew is to become president of The Wellington Academy. He is an ideal person to take on this role.


"All children - including those from military families - deserve excellent education and I'm really pleased that we can use the expertise of Wellington College in providing education for this particular group and ensure they get the stability they need - as well as close links with the military through a Combined Cadet Force."


Academies are semi-independent of the state system, with more freedoms to design their own courses. The private sponsors of academies - who can include independent schools or universities - gain a major say in the running of the school.

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Not quite; at a time when there is an absolute need for community cohesion and a secular binding of the populace; Bliar started down the road to division by encouraging glorified grammar schools, with an element of private finance (and control); many of which were "faith" schools - garanteed to perpetuate artificial division and dogma. :roll::wink:

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