logo-education
0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

Forgotten your password?

Free schools – an ill-considered policy?

7 January 2014

The chair of governors at a free school which the DfE have decided will close has written to Lord Nash stating the free school was made a scapegoat for a government policy which was rushed and ill-considered – a phrase which echoes the National Audit Office’s comments on free school policy. The chair believes the DfE approach lacked support for the school’s plans to improve and that there had been no support around the implications of closure. The DfE’s view is that swift action was necessary to protect the education of pupils at the school and the DfE’s actions were appropriate.

Whilst swift action is required when a child’s education is at risk, that risk could be reduced by a more robust approval and monitoring process for free school proposals to ensure publically funded education delivers quality provision where it is needed. Such a rigorous approach should provide a firmer foundation on which the free school policy aims can be achieved – to ensure all children receive an excellent education.

Related opinions

Schools face scrutiny over Covid-19 vaccinations for children

On 4 June, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approved the use of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds.

View blog

School not liable for reckless actions of a student

The decision reinforces that the standard of the duty of care owed by schools is one or reasonableness.

View blog

Avoiding grade challenges on ‘unconscious bias’

A system based on teacher assessed grades, rather than external exams, was inevitably going to give rise to speculation about bias and objectivity in teacher assessment and grading decisions. Schools can prepare now for these kinds of challenges by ensuring that they have clear written evidence readily available.

View blog

Teachers report inadequate training on peer-on-peer abuse

Despite the increased media and regulatory focus on peer-on-peer abuse within schools, teachers are still reporting that they feel undertrained and ill-equipped to recognise and respond to allegations and incidents.

View blog

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up