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Any experience of NAS free schools?

(9 Posts)
KeepOnKeepingOn1 Tue 11-Feb-14 08:40:27

Having conducted research in the Suffolk area it would appear that NAS have now decided to open a new autism specific free school near Ipswich. They are recruiting governors who will appoint the head.

Does anyone have any experience of their other schools?

zzzzz Tue 11-Feb-14 09:44:42

Watching with interest.

StarlightMcKingsThree Tue 11-Feb-14 12:04:44

Yes. I wouldn't send my child to one.

Apart from the fact they don't use evidence-based practice and have low aspirations imo for the children, have you seen in the news the way they have been treating their teachers recently?

StarlightMcKingsThree Tue 11-Feb-14 12:05:31

Having said all of that, it is really about what the alternatives are. In my last LA, the provision was so very appalling that the NAS school was the comparative oracle.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Tue 11-Feb-14 12:12:25

Free schools are looking as if they are really units. They claim to be for HFA and insist that DC are above average but DC need to leave the school to access the NC and GSCEs.

Do you have a link of their treatment of staff?

ouryve Tue 11-Feb-14 12:29:03

socialistworker.co.uk/art/37363/Teachers+at+National+Autistic+Society+schools+strike+back+over+attacks+on+conditions

It's been ongoing, for a while.

AgnesDiPesto Tue 11-Feb-14 13:05:31

Free special schools are reliant on LAs buying places. This can mean a precarious situation re funding. I have heard of LAs agreeing to fund x places and DFE approving opening on that basis and then same LAs changing mind and leaving school in funding no mans land. Apart from getting school open and paying for building seem to fewer advantages than opening an indep school. LAs also still pressure parents (even where cost is equal) to put child in LA SS on basis have already committed to fund those places. I wonder if NAS have really thought it through and how secure these schools will be. There is a reason many LAs shut their units and most LAs have far less money now than they did then. NAS education is based on SPELL (see their website). It has no evidence base if you read up you will see the claim it has an evidence base is because SPELL includes approaches which do have some supportive research. But really it's an eclectic model which has not been tested. It's a bit like building a car and using a ford engine and saying well ford engines are sound so the whole car must be as good as a ford.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Tue 11-Feb-14 13:07:43

Good to see that you can still trust SW to report industrial disputes. smile

I met my now DH through the SWP back in the late 80 s. He was selling papers outside a Red/Green Debate with the pitch 'forget the Rainbow Warrior - join the class warriors!'

ouryve Tue 11-Feb-14 13:44:55

I found out about the kerfuffle via twitter. Good eyes and ears, that site!

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