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An own goal for free schools?

31 August 2012

The government has withdrawn funding from a Free School which was due to open at Bradford City Football Club’s ground in less than a week. The withdrawal of funding requires places to be found by the local authority for those children due to start at the Free School on 3 September. The Department for Education has stated that the conditions to allow funding to be provided had not been satisfied as the school was only 60% full.

The time of the withdrawal may reduce confidence in an already controversial programme especially where a free school such as this in a deprived area of Bradford in involved and where the primary policy aim of bridging the gap between the “haves” and have-nots” would have been tested. It again shows that there is an increasing need for clarity over the free schools programme to ensure that promoters of free schools and parents wanting a different type of education for their children have confidence in the system.

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