Education is one of my big hobby horses (mainly because it’s rather a hobby of mine… I like learning, and I think it’s important with a capital I to have free, good education available to all). Today I’m taking on this proposition to have ‘free schools’ that any group can set up. Companies, parents, whoever.
Eek. Why is no-one else terrified of this? The government proposes to give money to any group of proposers to educate children as long as they have ‘parental demand.’ There’s little information around about the process of getting free school status other than that each case will be judged on its merits.
So money gets taken away from state schools and given to these biased educators who will, in exchange for taxpayers’ money, brainwash children into the beliefs of the group who set up the free school or the private company that may be brought in to run it. That’s a bit of a worst case scenario – but I can see it happening. They don’t have to follow the National Curriculum.
They can also set their own pay for teachers – which means it’s possible that the best teachers will end up working in these free schools. And not everyone can set one up or be in the areas in which there are ones – so what happens to the children and teenagers that still have to go to state schools?