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free schools – missing the target?

13 July 2012

The debate over the introduction of free schools continues with new reports that the system of approving proposals is not adequately targeting areas where new schools and new ideas are required. The reports suggest that with free schools being proposed where there are already sufficient school places or where there is insufficient community support for another school, the free schools programme is missing its primary aim – to close the attainment gap between the “haves” and “have-nots” through new schools being created by parents and other groups within that community.

Whilst there is much to be said for the government’s “less is more” approach to red tape and bureaucracy, here it is only leading to more negative comments on the free schools programme. Clear guidelines on what may constitute a worthwhile proposal can only assist in providing a better understanding of the programme and its aims for all stakeholders, including those who wish to propose a school.

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