In the Observer: Parent-promoted schools

January 25, 2010 at 10:15 am Leave a comment

by Alec Patton

It’s great to see such a thorough article about education in a national paper.
Here’s a taster:

All over the country, from Bristol to Bedford, Durham to London, groups of parents are planning to set up their own schools – smaller than the schools their councils want to give them, or closer to home, with tougher discipline policies or a different curriculum.

It’s hard not to feel excited – and slightly nervous – about this.

However, what is really striking about the article is its conclusion:

To break the deadlock, radical action is required. The obvious avenue is to increase supply rather than try to reorganise demand. This will undoubtedly have its downsides, but the situation is too dire for us to settle for the current stasis. The Conservatives now seem determined to try the supply-side solution, and Rachel Wolf believes that very little legislation is needed: “Mostly it is a matter of changing guidance and rules rather than the law.”

Unfortunately, unless the Tories offer freedom to innovate in the curriculum, Conservative policies could repeat Labour’s error of introducing new providers without allowing for any very different kinds of education. If people like Mark Lehain aren’t allowed to put into action their plans for a better way of teaching, the incentive for them to start alternative schools will remain limited.

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Entry filed under: Education & Children's Services.

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