My children, now grown up, all went to state schools and I want to see all children having the opportunity to benefit from the best possible state education.

Diane Goldrei's picture
I have registered today following the Today programme revelation that while funding promised by the previous government to improve conditions in the fabric of specific schools was cancelled on the grounds that the money could not longer be afforded, millions of pounds are being sent on purchasing or refurbishing "free schools". I totally agree with Francis Gilbert that this is an unfair use of public funds, benefitting a small minority rather than the large numbers of children and students in school buildings which are not up to standard.

I do not think the British public have woken up to the implications of the free schools policy and I hope the Local Schools Network will lead a vigorous campaign to oppose it. I think you need to have a punchy name for the campaign under the umbrella of the Local Schools Network as LSN in itself doesn't convey much and is not memorable. I couldn't remember what you were called and had to go to the Today website to find it.
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Francis Gilbert's picture
Mon, 07/02/2011 - 20:15

Thanks for your support and the point you've made. We will think about your point about the Local Schools Network not being a very punchy name. I suppose we were set up to celebrate local schools so we're intending to be a bit more than a site to campaign against free schools. Perhaps we need to think of a punchy name with which to start a campaign against this divisive policy. Any thoughts?

Rosemary Mann's picture
Wed, 09/02/2011 - 12:39

I still think its a good name however could be confused with the 'New Schools Network' set up to promote free schools! I wonder which
one came first!

I like the LSN as does what is says in the tin- supports local schools without any other stated agenda as its prime reason for being.

In respect of fighting the policy of free schools, I don't think this should be the purpose of the LSN. The AAA exist for that and unfortunately their rather upfront aggressive stance does put people off, as well as attract ( wrongly) the notion that they are all a bunch of Socialist Workers.

Fiona Millar's picture
Thu, 10/02/2011 - 07:53

Thanks Rosalyn. We did choose the name Local Schools Network because we felt we could build support for an alternative vision for education with the local school, with fair admissions, a broad curriculum and an inclusive ethos, at its heart, Obviously free schools are very prevalent in the news at the moment but we do want to hear from parents about their local schools, to show there are many examples of excellent happy school communities around the country ( you would never know that from the papers), and also give parents, governors and teachers the chance to discuss ALL these issues.

Rosemary Mann's picture
Wed, 09/02/2011 - 12:40

PS I do agree however that a stronger stance somehow needs to be taken against the concept and I also agree that the majority of people are not really as focussed on this issue as they could be which could have alarming consequences.

Francis Gilbert's picture
Wed, 09/02/2011 - 14:25

Thanks Rosalyn. I think the site has been at raising the issues; while most of us are suspicious of the free schools policy, we always welcome people putting their views, hopefully in a reasoned fashion.

Ben Taylor's picture
Thu, 10/02/2011 - 16:52

I went to a local state grammar school where I was reasonably well provided for. Does that count?

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