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Free Schools

Part of the series Need to Know Updates

  Screen capture from Free Schools


Mike Baker examines the role free schools will play in the coalition government's education policy in this Need to Know video.

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Free schools, also known as "the Swedish model" are intended to put parents in the driving seat by making it easier for groups of people including parents and teachers to open new schools funded by the state.

Mike visits the construction site of the Jewish Community Secondary School, one of the first parent initiated schools. He talks to headteacher Jeremy Stowe-Lindner, and Jonathan Fingerhutone, of the parents involved in the project. They discuss how the £50m initiative was started.

Mike also talks to Rachel Wolf, director of the New Schools Network, about how these new schools will be run in England and which groups are interested in establishing them.

Mike also meets Fiona Millar, an education campaigner, who is opposed to the policy.


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    • Free schools
      20 July 2010 - 12:38

      I wonder if the reality will match the dream, if a school, say as in this example, a Jewish community school, moves to a more hard line faith school, how will the DCfS, or whatever body is responsible in the future, ensure that it remains within the system and it was not a case of giving £50M to a secular group. If 200 groups all decided to go this way, who would monitor the finances? How could a system structure remain in place? The greatest cost saving is by removing the management layers, yet you would still need cohesive policies and central funding.