The last session at the Tory Summit hosted by Acevo is all about education and childrens services. We have heard from Clare Tickell arguing against cuts which will cause a "spike in social chaos", Neil McIntosh on the need for innovation in schools and now Nick Gibb Shadow Minister for schools and Maria Miller Shadow Minister for Families. Maria has outlined the Tories absolute commitment to Sure Start whereas Nick talked about how we needed to address education failure rates in the most deprived families. Sadly no mention of social enterprise, or really even the Third Sector.
I have tweeted the question, Should social enterprises be able to run state funded schools? Which as I blog is hanging on a screen over the panels heads. Let's hope our excellent question master Simon Fanshaw gets a response on that. The exacting and highly engaging social entrepreneur June O'Sullivan has now waded in. She finds the system of early years a shambles that needs fixing if anyone can succeed in taking on the PCTs. Nick Gibb has responded that today the Tories are releasing an application to those interested in running schools as independent providers. That makes our conference on social enterprise and education on April 15, run in partnership with CfBT Education Trust seem well timed. Finally a debate on parent run schools. Simon poses, 'how can we avoid parents from disadvantaged families being excluded? In response Nick Gibb refers to the Schools Admission Charter and how the Tories will simpilfy it.