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Free Schools

8 replies

newwave · 21/09/2011 21:41

I am well aware that the private sector likes to be subsidised by the tax payer but the brass neck of 45 private schools takes some beating. The schools have applied to become so called ?free schools? so that the progeny of the well off can continue with their currently fee paying privileged education but now paid for by the taxpayer.

One thought does occur to me if said schools become ?free schools? then surely those pupils at the school which don?t meet the new entrance criteria will be asked to leave and apply for schools in their catchment area or will ?special exceptions? apply to them. Or maybe the new entrance criteria will include provisos that only the offspring of those with substantial wealth need apply and those from the working class can piss off.

I also understood that the next tranche of ?free schools? would be in deprived areas, I cannot see any current private schools being in Moss Side or Toxteth.

Same old Tories same old sense of entitlement.

OP posts:
niceguy2 · 21/09/2011 23:19

I thought free schools had to operate under the same admissions criteria as state schools? Ok so i guess your point is if those schools only open in affluent areas then that means only rich people would be going?

I guess that could be true. But then we have to look at how many schools have applied and/or been rejected which would have been in deprived areas.

I think I read somewhere that nearly half the free schools opened are in deprived areas? Something like that. In which case that doesn't seem that bad a statistic to me. That said, i'm always mindful of what statistics are based on.

At the end of the day, I'm agnostic at this stage about free schools. I like the idea that the school is given more say in their budget. The head is in control rather than some faceless LEA dictating how he/she should spend their money. But I can see possible problems and I don't think the concept is perfect.

But right now I'm happy to see how things play out in the long run. If free schools which are given the same money as a state school can improve performance and education then I'm all for it. If they can't then they should be scrapped. But I think its certainly worth trying.

CogitoErgoSometimes · 21/09/2011 23:38

Keep peddling the crap about them being for the 'progeny of the well off' if it keeps you in with whatever lobby-group you're working for, but it's complete bollocks. They have to abide by the same admissions criteria as other schools in the area. The incentive for free schools to open up in poorer areas is the pupil premium. The more kids they get through the doors that qualify for free school meals, the more money goes into the budget.

Like niceguy2 I'd like to see how these schools perform before judging. And, if they do better than the state school system which is failing thousands of kids year after year, maybe everyone can benefit from the experiment.

meditrina · 21/09/2011 23:40

Children already in a school which converts will continue. All future intakes will be bound by the admissions code. I believe this has been the case since 2007 - when some private schools converted to academy status. This is a Labour policy continuing.

jackstarb · 22/09/2011 21:39

In the 1960's and 70's the trend was the other way. Some of our best state [grammar] schools were allowed to convert to private schools. The state lost some good schools.

NewWave - so you are upset that some dc's are moving from a private to a state education? How odd. I'd have thought you'd be pleased that they'll now be mixing with a wider social mix. The parents might save on fees - but class sizes will be bigger.

Presumably when lefties call for the abolition of private schools - they really mean, knock them down. And not open them up to state pupils. I'd never quite appreciated that before.

southeastastra · 22/09/2011 21:42

how do you get the land for these free schools then?

CogitoErgoSometimes · 23/09/2011 06:22

It's not necessarily land. Some are being set up in existing buildings which have been adapted.

EdithWeston · 23/09/2011 07:55

They'd have to pay rent or buy the site, and adapt and maintain the buildings. That is why a financial backer is required, or a business plan which allows the school to borrow against expected per pupil revenue. There are very few people/organisations both well endowed and generous enough to let a school occupy useable premises for free.

takingbackmonday · 26/09/2011 16:39

i would love to send my DCs to Toby Young's free school

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