NCPTA Parental Survey shows most parents are not worried about poor discipline in schools and dislike selective schools

Adrian Elliott's picture
I wonder if anyone else has come across this survey of parents by the National Confederation of Parent Teacher Association.

It has some very interesting findings. For example, discipline is not a concern for at least 84% of parents which runs entirely contrary to the coalition/national press view that its the single biggest concern for parents in state schools. Whilst most parents are in favour of academies, the survey shows most don't want them to be selective which again contradicts the picture of a huge pent up demand for selection painted by many right wing commentators.
On free schools the survey suggests a swing away from support, with 33% thinking they are a good idea - down from 45% a year ago and and a even bigger drop in willingness to help with setting one up - down from 45% a year ago to 11% now.
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Tracy Hannigan's picture
Mon, 28/03/2011 - 15:38

Just had a peep at this. The disturbing thing to me, as I read it, is that the number of parents thinking Free Schools is a good idea has increased from 33% in Jan 2010 to 45% Jan 2011 - and only two percentage points increase in thinking they were a bad idea. The swing into support for free schools has come from the percentage who 'didn't know'. The propaganda machine in support of free schools has been effective, and we need to continue to counter that.

Janet Downs's picture
Mon, 28/03/2011 - 16:36

The figures on academies were interesting:

48% in favour
28% against
24% don't know.

I think more parents will be against academies when they discover that academies are not legally obliged to have local representatives on their governing bodies so the local voice can be disregarded. I don't think parents will be impressed when they find out that if they have a complaint about an academy then they can't go to the governing body or a local councillor but will have to contact the Secretary of State.

What's going on? Can we have some consistency please? When stats come on the site that support LSN views then they are evidence of what the public want and the government should take heed, but when stats say the opposite then it must be some propaganda machine brainwashing otherwise upstanding citizens.

As for local voice ... Isn't it the local authority trying to shut Helen's school in Shrewsbury? If she could get a group together and give evidence of the local demand to the Secretary of State for Education then she could establish a free school, probably in the closing buildings, and create articles of association that guarantee parent governors etc.

Adrain, I would be interested to see the evidence of the "huge pent up demand for selection painted by many right wing commentators."

Fiona Millar's picture
Mon, 28/03/2011 - 17:18

I find the survey heartening. It shows parents think the balance between vocational and academic is about right, it shows they have concerns about creeping selection, it shows they want properly trained and registered teachers ( and also in favour of those in contact with their children being CRB checked) and there is a massive swing away from parents wanting to set up their own schools. The behaviour/safety of pupils section is the most interesting and does contradict the daily diet we get from some right wing commentators about what goes on in schools.

Andy Smithers's picture
Mon, 28/03/2011 - 18:51

The survey shows that the Government has got it right about Free Schools and Academies. Parents want more of both.

Perhaps its time the LSN stopped blindly opposing and critising every aspect of Free Schools and Academies and accepted that they were actually improving choice, diversity and quality in education.

This is what parents want.

It is a small vocal minority who oppose Academies and Free Schools.

Fiona Millar's picture
Mon, 28/03/2011 - 19:28

Actually that isn't quite what the survey says.You should read it. It also covers a lot of other aspects of government policy and shows in many areas parents are satisfied with current provision and not necessarily convinced about possible changes to exams, the curriculum and funding for higher education.

Andy Smithers's picture
Mon, 28/03/2011 - 21:45

Actually it is what the survey finds - amongst many other things.

One of the key findings of the survey was;
"Since January 2010, there is increased awareness of new style Academies and Free Schools along with greater support for autonomy amongst schools" and as Janet highlights above almost twice as many parents are in favour of academies as against.

I think you also underestimate parents Janet (when they have differerent views from yourself - anyway), when you asume they do not understand how an academy board can work.

Most new academies will be existing schools converting - it is Governing Bodies including parents and local representatives making this decision together with the Head and the parents.
Most of these new Academy Governing Bodies will continue to have both local representatives and parents on the new boards.
Parents will have as much say as they always have and can get involved to the extent they wish to.

Melissa Benn's picture
Tue, 29/03/2011 - 07:58

Two quick points

1. The fact that parents wish more autonomy for their schools suggest that they trust their schools/heads/teachers, which I find encouraging.

2. The NCPTA question on academies and free schools sets up a tension between freedom OR local authority/government control. But academies and free schools ARE under government control; they simply by pass the local authority. I wonder if parents would support them as much if they realised the closeness of these new schools to both big government and private companies?

Adrian Elliott's picture
Tue, 29/03/2011 - 11:34

Apologies about the mistake in my original post.The swing has been from 33%-45% towards support. (it doesn't help that the NCPTA uses different shades of a very similar blue to illustrate the different percentage totals!) However, the drop in willingness to get involved in setting one up still stands . So more people approve of them but fewer want to help with them .I wonder if that is going to be a characteristic of the Big Society

Janet Downs's picture
Tue, 29/03/2011 - 12:36

I don't think Tracy was suggesting that the NCPTA survey was a propaganda machine. I think she was referring to the biased nature of information pumped out by the DfE.

Its home page has numerous links to academies and free schools including endless endorsements. However, I've have found no similar publicity and praise for local authority schools. The Government is overwhelmingly in favour of academies/free schools and pushes the assumption that these must be better than LA schools in all cases. This is insulting to the majority of LA schools.

And don't forget that Mr Gove uses distorted data to "prove" that UK education is poor while ignoring data (TIMSS 2007) that shows we're doing rather well.

Janet Downs's picture
Tue, 29/03/2011 - 12:50

The OECD gave its opinion about the provision academies and free schools at the launch of its Economic Survey of the UK.

"The expanded “academies” programme and the setting up of “Free Schools” increase choice for parents. As many of these new schools will cater to better-off families, further reforms are needed so that all children can benefit. One way would be to give other schools similar freedoms.",3746,en_21571361_44315115_47385066_1_1...

This seems to uphold the government's reasoning behind its academy/free schools programme. However, the report tacitly admits that this increased choice is likely to benefit mainly the "better-off". Its suggestion is interesting: increase autonomy for all schools. That means release ALL schools from the national curriculum. At least then ALL schools could say they had room to innovate - not just those who've been given permission by Mr Gove to do so because they've danced to his tune.

Janet Downs's picture
Tue, 29/03/2011 - 12:56

From the TES 25 March:

"The Treasury could also be casting an anxious eye over the free-school policy, fearing it may be too successful with parents who might otherwise educate their children privately. Any transfer of pupils from the fee-paying sector to such “free” schools funded by taxpayers would require additional new funds or a redistribution of the existing cash used to fund the state sector."

This is what many of us have feared - that money will be taken from the LA sector to fund schools which are not yet in existence, or new money will be found which could be used to improved existing schools.

Andy Smithers's picture
Tue, 29/03/2011 - 13:44

Janet - all your reports above seem to indicate that Academies and Free schools are/or will be excellent and succesful schools that everyone regardless of background will want to attend.

Parents also want them and support them.

Why is it then the LSN continue to ignore all of this and blindly oppose ALL free schools and academies ?

You cannot blame Free Schools or Academies for the fact that a lot of current Local Authority State Schools select by specialims, however this site spends a lot of its energy doing exactly that.

Actions also speak louder than words, so why does the school that Fiona Miller is Chair of Governors continue to be selective, whilst at the same time shouting down the WLFS for selecting on the same specialim ?

Matthew McGee's picture
Tue, 29/03/2011 - 14:31

I would like to point out to Andy that it has yet to be proved that free schools will improve quality in education, as none of them have been opened yet. As for the idea that academies and free schools increase choice - anyone with an ounce of common sense will realise that parental choice of school is a myth, as it is the popular schools which choose pupils, rather than parents and pupils choosing schools. Michael Gove's academies and newfangled free schools will do nothing to change this. Indeed, free schools are likely to be highly selective in their intake, as they choose pupils who stand more chance of being academically successful.

Allan Beavis's picture
Tue, 29/03/2011 - 20:14

Matthew - I agree that the success of free schools is entirely theoretical. I assume also you mean academic success.

I don't know about the admissions process where you live but in my area of London, we have a cluster of very popular schools, all highly in demand by parents. However, none of the these schools (and that incuudes the Acadmies as well as the community schools) "choose" their pupils. Application is rigorously fair and administered by the LA. The criteria are the usual ones - catchment, sibling, banding etc. There is no covert selection based on academic ability or class.

You are right to assume that free schools might discriminate against less academically inclined pupils (well at least those who haven't reached their peak at age 10 or 11 anyway) . The new Head of WLFS has said as much in a newspaper interview.

Janet Downs's picture
Wed, 30/03/2011 - 09:47

A discussion on the thread about School Admission highlights the case of Langley Hall Primary Academy (a free school) where the admissions criteria published on its website says that priority will be given to those parents whose children are in the attached, paid-for nursery. That is one example in one free school. We have another, the WLFS, whose head has said the curriculum won't suit all children. So that's two free schools who discriminate.

It is disingenuous to say that all state schools with specialisms select via this specialism. This may be the case in cities, but in small towns with one school it matters not whether the school labels itself, say, a business and enterprise college - all children will go there.

Janet, at the WLFS we do not discriminate. You are attaching a pejorative term to what Tom Packer said. Does your haircut discriminate against you? Do your clothes discriminate against you? Or do they suit you? Why don’t you argue the issues instead of making stuff up?

Janet Downs's picture
Wed, 30/03/2011 - 10:23

There is an assumption by supporters of academies that these will in every case be better than LA schools. Channel 4 checked out this claim in 2009:

"Despite differences between individual schools, GCSE results in academies overall do seem to be improving faster than the national average (though they came from a lower start point, and still tend to lag behind)."

"But one analysis found this statistical improvement disappears when academies are compared to a similar school, that didn't become an academy. Admittedly, this research is based on a small sample of the expanding academies scheme; time may tell a different picture."

So the improvement disappears when an academy is judged against a similar non-academy school. The article says that "time may tell". However, it must be borne in mind that the new cohort of academies are not failing schools but those judged "outstanding". Many are selective. The only way to prove whether these new academies will be better than LA schools will be to judge them against schools of similar standard and not against schools with an ability range skewed to the lower end.

As far as free schools are concerned, they are unknown entities. It is far too soon to claim they will be better.

Allan Beavis's picture
Wed, 30/03/2011 - 11:01

Charlie -

Tom Packer's comments may not have been overtly discriminatory but they certainly give out a very strong signal that anyone not able or willing to toe the line are unwelcome. Along with anyone gay or lesbian. Who else? Is this what mean are talking about when they say "covert" selection?

Janet Downs's picture
Wed, 30/03/2011 - 11:19

From the DfE website re conversion:

“ All schools are required to carry out a consultation but it is up to them to decide whom and how to consult.”

So: schools must consult but they can decide whether this is wide-ranging or kept to a minimum. It’s up to the school to decide and there’s no legal obligation to consult widely. So much for local democracy.

If an existing school converts, there is no legal obligation to keep the same governing body. The academy trust appoints the governors. Some may keep the same body but this is at the discretion of the academy trust. There is no legal obligation for academies to include local people or members of staff. They are only legally obliged to have two parent governors and these are appointed by the governors and not chosen by ballot as is the case with LA schools.

And if an entire County decides to convert all its schools into academies run by one academy chain (as appears to be happening with primary schools in Lincolnshire, but the electorate is being kept in the dark), then where is the choice? Where is the local involvement? How can parents be fully involved when there is no legal obligation for a governing body to have more than two parents (unelected)?

Allan, now you are making up stuff. We have never said anybody would be unwelcome. How dare you say we would not welcome gay or lesbian people; that is verging on slanderous. We will welcome any child who wishes to learn with us, no matter what their background, income level or sexual orientation, and the same goes for our staff, governors and parents. We have never said that there is a line that people must follow, we will insist on discipline, as would any other school. To say that the curriculum might not be suitable for some pupils is only in terms of the preferences that pupils express. If they want a vocational education we are not suitable. If they can’t speak English, are gay or lesbian, are on free school meals and they want an academic education within a school with a strong academic ethos then we are entirely suitable for them. Please encourage all such children to apply.

Fiona Millar's picture
Wed, 30/03/2011 - 17:06

The implication of the Spectator article about LGBT week at Stoke Newington school was that this sort of activity was 'preposterous'. That led many people to conclude that different ways of encouraging pupils to respect diversity ( gender, race, sexual orientation) would not be welcome at the West London Free School. That may be off putting to staff, pupils and parents considering the school. Now that the school has signed its funding agreement, maybe the school's head/ or governing body can tell us how they will be approaching these sorts of diversity and equal opportunities issues, to encourage tolerance and combat the sort of prejudice we all know is out there and which some of our contributors wrote movingly about having encountered in their own schooldays.

Janet Downs's picture
Wed, 30/03/2011 - 15:02

Let's get this straight. The head teacher of a school says that the academic curriculum on offer will not be suitable for all children. Parents get the message: non-academic children should not apply.

It is disingenuous to say that a school which offers a completely academic curriculum is open to all on the grounds that parents can express a preference. Parents know their children's abilities and they won't apply if the curriculum won't suit their child. If the school were truly open to all it would offer a full curriculum including one that catered for non-academic pupils.

Pupils on free school meals will be welcome, of course, but only if they are academically inclined.

Janet, you are confused. By your logic anybody who offers any sort of service that not everybody would take up is discriminating.

The Royal Opera House is discriminatory, not everybody likes Opera and some people will choose not to attend. They specialise in high culture, shall we remove their funding? Burns units in hospitals are discriminatory; many people with broken bones choose not to go to them, shall we force burns units to generalise? In fact a burns unit will refuse to treat broken bones; we won’t refuse anybody, even confused people.

A school can be open to all without everybody wanting to go there, or are underperforming undersubscribed schools also not open to all?

Francis Gilbert's picture
Wed, 30/03/2011 - 20:03

Charlie says of possible applicants to WLFS: "If they want a vocational education we are not suitable." Surely that is telling a lot of pupils not to apply? Currently, nearly 20% of GCSE-age pupils take vocational qualifications according to the Wolf Report.

We are not telling any pupils not to apply, we are saying exactly what we are saying, not your interpretation of what we are saying nor libellous interpretations of what we have never said.

People on this site seem incapable of arguing the issues in any logical or coherent manner. It seems like you are trying to score points. Who are you trying to score points for?

I understand that the majority of the people on this site have a certain point of view to begin with and are unlikely to change it. I don't expect to change your minds, I engage as a courtesy, to expand the debate and also so any (unlikely) neutral wandering on to the site realises that there is more than one side.

I don't expect to be libelled or to have words put into my mouth. If you can't engage sensibly then I and others like me will leave you to it. You can retreat into your group think and your group hug.

Janet Downs's picture
Thu, 31/03/2011 - 07:15

Charlie’s reference to burns units is particularly unfortunate. No-one expresses a preference to enter a burns unit – you have to be unlucky enough to have been burnt. Of course, the burns victim could express a preference to go to a particular unit. But if that unit, ostensibly open to all burns victims who state a preference, says it’s not suitable for anyone with more than 50% burns, then it follows that it is not open to all victims. If a victim with, say, 70% burns nevertheless insists on going to that particular unit then the victim is NOT going to receive the appropriate treatment.

The same argument applies to schools. If a school makes a statement that their curriculum is NOT suitable for ALL pupils then those parents who feel that the curriculum will be unsuitable because it doesn’t match the cognitive ability of their child will not apply. Such a school may say, as you do, that anyone can apply in theory – all they have to do is express a preference. However, we all know that this won’t happen in practice for the reasons above.

Allan Beavis's picture
Thu, 31/03/2011 - 11:45

Charlie -

The Royal Opera House is not discriminatory.

They welcome anyone in possession of a ticket. They do not put out offputting statements or write articles in magazines which make it appear as if they discourage people from giving "high culture" a go.

In fact they do the opposite - they excel themselves at attracting a very diverse audience (many new to opera and ballet) and have used their subsidy well to make ticket prices as affordable for as many people as possible.

The management of ROH do not send out confusing messages (as the Senior Management of WLFS are doing ) which either put people off going or imply they won't really be welcome once they get in.

Perhaps you would good enough to clarify how the recent sentiments expressed in The Spectator and The Independent reassure everyone that WLFS will be truly inclusive and tolerant - regardless of sexuality, race, ability...?

Allan – I know the Royal Opera House is not discriminatory, that was kind of the point I was making. Thanks. All they do is specialise and try and encourage people of all backgrounds to attend. I completely relate to that.

The Independent article was actually an article that related to the WLFS and the Head was saying, as I have been saying quite openly, that we are offering a specific product. As far as I know the only person at the WLFS who has addressed the issue of tolerance at the WLFS is me. To quote myself,

“We will welcome any child who wishes to learn with us, no matter what their background, income level or sexual orientation, and the same goes for our staff, governors and parents.”

Janet – With regards to your first line, I hope you aren’t actually implying what I am inferring, that you think I have a disregard for victims of burns and am trying to make some sort of debating capital out of them? Surely that would be beneath you. I’m happy to be corrected. With regards to my argument about your use of the word ‘discrimination’, you don’t seem to have addressed it.

Allan Beavis's picture
Thu, 31/03/2011 - 17:36

Charlie – I am confused about what you are saying. You posted that “The Royal Opera House is discriminatory”. I replied that they were they not discriminatory and were careful to communicate that the house was accessible and welcoming to all. I am happy that you now agree with me on the ROH.

But this isn’t about an opera house. It’s about state education. You now say that you are “the only person at the WLFS who has addressed the issue of tolerance at the WLFS” and that “we will welcome any child who wishes to learn with us, no matter what their background, income level or sexual orientation, and the same goes for our staff, governors and parents.”

But this is not true. Your Chair of Governors has already made comments about diversity and tolerance in The Spectator in a manner completely at odds with reassuring prospective pupils, parents and staff of a mission to welcome, respect and protect diversity and equality within the school.

So - would you please clarify how these sentiments reassure everyone that WLFS will be truly inclusive and tolerant – regardless of sexuality, race, ability – and how this is can now be credibly implemented from the Chair of Governors down into the whole fabric of the school?

Fiona Millar's picture
Thu, 31/03/2011 - 18:20

All maintained schools are required to have an equalities policy. One of the problems with free schools and academies is that they aren't covered by the vast body of law that governs maintained schools. They are only bound by what is in their funding agreements, essentially commercial contracts into which they can import whichever bits of the law suit the school or the sponsor. I assume that the individual funding agreements of free schools will be come publicly available in due course, since we are paying for them. Then we will be able to see whether they are making a firm commitment to equal ops, access and all the other important areas that ensure that pupils and staff can't be discriminated against.

Allan, I know you are confused. Hopefully the link below will help.

Janet Downs's picture
Fri, 01/04/2011 - 07:44

Statement from the DfE: “Free Schools are all-ability state-funded schools.” It follows then that such a school should offer a curriculum suitable for all abilities. If the curriculum is not suitable for all abilities then it follows that those for whom the curriculum is unsuitable will be discouraged from applying. It may be that the school says that the school is open to all because parents can express a preference. However, it cannot claim to be all-ability when its curriculum does not cater for all abilities. Therefore, it is not an all-ability school and should not be receiving state funding.

Janet, are you implying that some children aren't intelligent enough to benefit from a classical liberal education? We certainly don't take such prejudiced views at the WLFS.

Ian Taylor's picture
Fri, 01/04/2011 - 11:40

Charlie, as a teacher in a selective independent school, I wonder if you are best placed to comment on the suitability of the curriculum of WLFS for all abilities. Even the headteacher of WLFS admits publicly that he has little knowledge of the whole ability range. (Strange appointment if the school really is going to cater for all abilities) We all know that WLFS is not going to cater for all abilities, otherwise there would be no point in you and Toby setting it up.

taylorig (if that is your real name) - good point about my experience. Recognising this myself I raised the same question as you at early steering group meetings. The other teachers, as well as advisers we have subsequently talked to, assured me that we weren't being unrealistic in our expectations that anybody would be able to cope with our curriculum. Obviously, making the curriculum accessible to all is as much about how you deliver it and how you support pupils as well as about the actual content of it. Rest assured that our teaching body will have plenty of mixed ability experience.

Perhaps you can explain why you feel there is no point opening a school offering a classical liberal education to pupils of all ability?

Ian Taylor's picture
Fri, 01/04/2011 - 13:55

Hi Charlie. I have spent 35 years teaching, trying to give young people good life chances. Last 21 years in Senior Leadership Team of Comprehensive School (categorised as Outstanding at last OFSTED inspection). Have appointed dozens of teachers over the years. Have worked with governing bodies for years. I know that you need lots of experience of curriculum planning and design, to deliver a good curriculum that is accessible to all abilities. Neither the set-up team of WLFS nor the headteacher of WLFS have this experience. In your position, if you genuinely want a school accessible to all, I would be looking to appoint a good curriculum Deputy Head who has experience of these matters. So far you have appointed a Head of PE as the Deputy Head and your Headteacher has experience of selective independent schools. This leads me to believe that your school will either be selective (or cause a lot of unhappiness for certain groups of children). Probably the school will be auto-selecting due to the publicity it attracts, and you will be able to claim that it is all ability. You may indeed believe that it is all ability. I appreciate that you are not allowed to say otherwise.

Janet Downs's picture
Fri, 01/04/2011 - 14:27

As A C Grayling points out, "By 'liberal education; is meant education that includes literature, history and appreciation of the arts, and given them equal weight with scientific and practical subjects."* Such a curriculum is indeed accessible to all. However, the headteacher of WLFS has said the curriculum on offer is unsuitable for all pupils. It is disingenuous, then, to say that the school is offering a classical, liberal education accessible to all while at the same time saying that this curriculum is NOT suitable for all. An oxymoron, surely?

*Grayling A C, 2002, pp 157/8,The Meaning of Things, Phoenix, London

taylorig - thank you for your last comment - instructive and helpful.

Janet, your logic would be impeccable if 'accessible' and 'suitable' meant the same thing. They don't; logically neither has to be the other.

This is getting to be a broken record. I don't think I can say anything new on this thread and I don't plan on responding to anything else here. I've put forward my and the WLFS position. Some of you think I am being dishonest and I obviously can't change your minds. I would just ask that you not state what you suppose to be true in your own minds as fact. The evidence would suggest to me that regarding this topic these aren't always the same thing.

Allan Beavis's picture
Fri, 01/04/2011 - 18:37

Janet, Fiona, Taylorig - Thanks for all your eloquent comments, all impeccably logical and truthful.

Since Charlie has now opted to depart without giving us a reply as to how the lack of respect for teaching diversity from a senior figure at WLFS is compatible with his assertion that the school is inclusive and tolerant of people of all abilities, race and sexual orientation, I really am very saddened that the WLFS has once again ducked serious questions about the motives behind the increasingly inconsistent statements that they make.

I believe this illustrates further the chaotic set up of free schools and the motives of the people setting them up. Their failure to respond transparently only increases my concerns and my suspicions.

georgina emmanuel's picture
Sat, 02/04/2011 - 12:07

It is really good to know that WLFS plans to welcome children who don't speak English.
Could you kindly let me know about the staffing (numbers, training etc) and resources you have put in place and how these are going to be funded?

We are desperate to find another source of funding for our International children since the government has removed most of it and the small amount left is no longer ring fenced.

With thanks

Janet Downs's picture
Sat, 02/04/2011 - 12:25

"accessible" = able to be reached

"suitable" = well fitted for purpose, appropriate to occasion.

"unsuitable" = not well fitted, inappropriate to occasion.

For a curriculum to be fully accessible it must be well fitted for this purpose. If a curriculum is described by its proponents as not suitable for all, then it cannot be well fitted for the purpose of accessibility for all.

Does this make sense? Perhaps I need a Latin motto (essential element of free schools):

Cogito ergo doleo

(I think, therefore I am depressed)

Andy Smithers's picture
Sat, 02/04/2011 - 16:40

Charlie - I support your actions.
You have resonded reasonably and with integrity with all your posts - the twisting of your words and non-stop criticism of anything to do with the WLFS on this site is embarrassing.

Good luck with the school and I hope, and trust, that it will be a great success giving children in your part of London another option.

Allan Beavis's picture
Sat, 02/04/2011 - 17:21

Andy -

If anyone should be embarrassed it it is Charlie, for his inability, on behalf of WLFS, to convincingly and concretely dispel the suspicion that his and other free schools are not genuinely inclusive.

His responses became increasingly incoherent and contradictory. Instead of answering direct questions with an honest answer, he ignored them, resorted to sarcasm and then swept out of the discussion.

Even he must therefore have realised that the unfortunate and unpleasant comments publicly made his Chair of Governors and head teacher is indefensible and entirely at odds with the concept of inclusion and equality for all.

I think you need to examine for yourself what "integrity" means.

Andy Smithers's picture
Sat, 02/04/2011 - 17:32

Thanks for your post which backs up everything I said.

You obviously cannot help yourself.

Allan Beavis's picture
Sat, 02/04/2011 - 20:20

Andy -

You obviously feel strongly about the free school issue, so it would be very helpful if you would kindly put a coherent case forward, backed up with facts, statistics, research which would convincingly prove that

a) free school applicants have planned meticulously for the spending of tax payers' money and are all on top of the multiple complexities of setting up, running and developing a school

b) free school funding is not diverting funds away from established maintained schools

c) free schools will be fully inclusive and d) recent comments (discussed here and elsewhere on this site)made by WLFS which many have perceived as off putting or discriminatory are, in fact, compatible with an open and genuine policy of inclusion and equality.

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