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Anger after Michael Gove labels Downhills Primary School campaigners 'Trots'
Education Secretary Michael Gove has labelled parents campaigning to stop their Tottenham school being forced into becoming an academy “Trots”.
Speaking to the Education Select Committee about his plan to expand the Government’s academies programme, he called campaigners opposing converting Downhills Primary School in Philip Lane under the scheme “enemies of promise” with “a bigoted, backward, bankrupt ideology”.
He added: “It's a pity that the Labour Party hasn't spoken out against this Trot campaign.”
The term refers to Leon Trotsky, the Marxist ideologist who was a key figure in the Russian revolution and believed in permanent revolution.
The accusation prompted an immediate angry response from the Save Downhills campaign on Twitter, who said: “When people disagree with Gove they are ‘trots’ or ‘the mob’. When they agree they are ‘groups of volunteers’.”
Parents and children sing a campaign song against the changes last month
More than 1,000 people marched from the school to Haringey Civic Centre in Wood Green High Road on Saturday afternoon in protest at the bid to turn four schools in the borough into academies.
Nightingale Primary School, in Bounds Green Road, Wood Green, Noel Park Primary School, in Gladstone Avenue, Wood Green, and Coleraine Park Primary School, in Glendish Road, Tottenham, are also affected by the plan.
Ofsted investigators visited Downhills last week to carry out an inspection that Mr Gove ordered after being threatened with legal action over pressing ahead with changes before staff had a chance to show the school had improved.
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