Premature judgement of free schools?
January 10, 2011
Controversy over free schools does not appear to be dissipating.
General secretary of the National Union of Teachers (NUT), Christine Blower, states that free schools are not wanted or needed and are “divisive and unaccountable” after an NUT survey of 1,000 parents found 25% in support of a free school in their area, 31% against and 43% were unsure.
Free schools are independent, publically funded schools which can be set up by a variety of interested groups in response to parental demand. They have freedom over their curriculum, admissions, national pay and conditions and can hire unqualified teachers.
Such low numbers in support is unsurprising considering the first free school has yet to open its doors and so far there have been only 25 approved proposals. As such it is too early to draw conclusions on whether or not free schools will flourish and bring about educational benefits.