Birmingham’s Conservative education chief has slammed David Cameron’s flagship schools policy.
Tories plan to introduce “free schools” founded by parents, charities or community groups, based on a system which exists in Sweden.
But the proposal was criticised by Les Lawrence, Birmingham’s cabinet member for children, young people and families, as he gave evidence to a House of Commons inquiry.
Coun Lawrence said Sweden was already rethinking the policy – because of fears the schools caused divisions in communities.
He said governments should let local councils decide what type of school was best for the town or city they served.
The Swedish model has been adopted by the national Conservative party as a way of offering parents more control over their child’s education and forcing failing schools to improve.
Coun Lawrence was speaking to MPs in his role as chair of the Children and Young Peoples’ Board of the Local Government Association, which represents councils across the country.
Coun Lawrence said there were “important benefits” from involving parents with schools – but that didn’t mean inviting the parents to run the school.