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Making the grade

Academies were meant to replace failing comprehensives. Now that the government is encouraging every school to convert, will the original mission be lost?

By Philip Collins   January 2012

The Evelyn Grace Academy in Brixton, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects; the building won the prestigious Stirling Prize in October

We have only Susan Crosland’s word that her husband Tony, the late Labour secretary of state for education, ever said that he wanted to “destroy every fucking grammar school in England.” It is less likely still that a man as decorous as the current education secretary, Michael Gove, would utter such an imprecation. But it is to be hoped that he has the same scale of ambition, albeit trained at a better target. The mission of his government, which will…

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