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‘damp squib’ danger as Gove announces first wave of free schools

9 September 2010

Michael Gove has announced the first 16 free schools that will progress to the next stage of preparing business plans . The schools are a mix of secondary, primary and faith schools in a number of areas set up by various groups including parents, teachers, local interest groups and charities. 

In his ministerial statement Gove acknowledges that opening in September 2011 represents a challenging timescale and sets out his anticipation that more applications will follow. He expects the free school’s programme will improve choice for parents and raise standards for all young people. 

However, Chris Keates, General Secretary of NASUWT considers these initial modest numbers of approval to show there is meagre demand for free schools, which would fragment communities and be socially divisive. 

Either way if the number of applications for free schools do not significantly increase in the future, the programme may become something of a damp squib.

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Mark Blois

Mark Blois

Partner and Head of Education

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