As Fiona has already said, the Channel 4 Fact-check on Free Schools
is fascinating. There is also an interesting interview with Michael Gove about the free schools programme. At the end of the interview, we get to the heart of the matter when Jon Snow questions the wisdom of making Batley Grammar School a free school-- it's currently a private school which is only half-full. Gove claims this is a "fantastic" idea because it will mean that poor children will be able to go to what is a great school -- it's about "nationalising" education, he says. There are a few questions to be asked here. Firstly, should we be "nationalising" private schools? Isn't a bit bizarre for a right-winger like Gove to say this? Secondly, surely turning Batley Grammar into a state school simply shifts the burden of paying fees for a private school onto the taxpayer? A parent who has a child at the £9000-a-year school says it was like “winning the lottery” -- as has already been commented upon this highlights the gross unfairness of the system; it's about giving a leg-up to the rich, and kicking the poor.