Majority of our secondary state comprehensive schools are failing and the better performing schools are either faith based, single sex or grammar and these are way oversubscribed and extremely hard to get in. We don't have the infrustracture, we need new intitiative, we need "free" good education for our children. The founders of West London Free School have come together to bring about (hopefully)change in our ailing system I beleive we should let them. If they can deliver what they are promising then we should support it and use it as a model. I am disappointed that there are a lot of critisism about West London Free School. I dont understand why a lot of people are against it. I don't live in Hammersmith but I support what the founders are trying to do. Mr Slaughter and other critics should stand back for a minute and put things in prospective. We have plenty of primary schools but we seem to have just a handful of secondary schools and a lot of these are under performing??(to put it mildly) Clearly there's something wrong with the system...and surely we need an overhaul.
Well, we're in Wales (all hail devolution when faced with yet more3 initiatives!), but our loal comp is not faith, grammar, selective... it's over subscribed but those who don't get a aplce still get pretty decent schools in the main, certainly ds1 is attending a base on one of the less popular schools from December and I am very pleased with it.
WRT to over supply of teachers yes but remember the teacher training palces are cutting their recruitment masively next year (Bristol for example considering not running some courses altogetehr); when nurse training did the same thing and the economy picked up it led to an eventual shortage.....
In areas where there are no grammar schools the comp system is working well. In our area there are loads of really good comps where well over half get 5 GCSEs. However, not many kids go to private school or the grammar schools (very selective) in the neighbouring LEA so the Comps maintain the brighter students. My DCs will go to the faith school which is lower in the league than the top two non-selective, non-faith schools but it covers a much bigger area. There is no ill feeling to faith schools here because they are not necesarily used to cream off kids such as some of the areas in London. Perhaps this for me is when our educations system works well. My only cricism of the education system is that creativity is abandoned in favour of testing at a young age and I would like to see testing in primary schools limited to teacher assesment with more emphasis on producing free-thinking creative out of the box people who will become the future entrepreneurs of this country. Too many kids just think exam passing is the be all and end all in life.