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free school model interested News International

27 April 2012

It has emerged from the Leveson Inquiry that News International were interested in setting up an academy to “create a lasting legacy in East London, through an academy school with a focus on media and technology."

The Independent have reported that Rupert Murdoch told the inquiry that the state of British schools was a "disgrace", describing educational standards as "a crime against the younger generation and we are determined to do something about it".

The plans fell through as the DfE were not able to fund the proposal because of a "very tight" spending review, despite News International offering £2 million in sponsorship.

The Inquiry was told that News International had stipulated that it did not want to replace a failing local school, which is the DfE’s preferred model for academies. Within weeks News International had changed tack, instead wanting to establish a free school.

It remains to be seen whether News International will follow up on their interest given the current political landscape.

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