Free Schools Open Gates

It’s September and the school gates are open. Thrown into the mix this year are the introduction of “free schools”. They are independent schools that do not need to follow the national curriculum, nor do they need to employ qualified teachers, but are subject to the same OFSTED monitoring and exams. They are fully funded by the state and at least for now, have to be an all inclusive school regardless of class, race or faith. There are 24 in total and 9 in London.


This maybe a simplistic view of these schools that have grown out of disappointment of the education system and a desire to offer a better standard of education, but this is the bare reality.

I have listened to the arguments for and against free schooling and have to admire those who, like journalist Toby Young, have gone on to set up their free school. I am sure it is quite a daunting process and far from easy. However, I feel quite cautious about this offer.

The fact that the school does not have to follow a curriculum is real problem for me and puts into question the entire education system. The national curriculum was created so that the country would be following and reaching certain standards of education throughout their school life. Of course individual achievements would reflect more the quality of that learning provided rather than the subjects learnt.

I am also concerned about the lack of qualifications needed as a prerequisite to teach at these schools. Surely, you need to highest qualified to achieve the best results. If not, then why is a teaching qualification in place and why is anyone studying for anything?

Around £130 million has been used to create these free schools, I wonder if this money could have been spent on investing into the schools that already existed to achieve better results rather than depleting funds further for the already strapped sch0ols. It does make me question how long the government are able to fund these free independent schools and ultimately, despite Deputy Prime Minister Neck Clegg’s pledge today, that they will end up being profit making as this is the only way that any charity can survive.

I do wish these independent “free schools” the best of luck but am not as convinced as some people about them, yet….


One Comment to “Free Schools Open Gates”

  1. I can’t believe that these schools are funded by taxpayers. I think it is shocking that the schools don’t need to follow the curriculum it was set for a reason. Unqualified teachers are also worrying why are we experimenting with children’s future?

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