Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Free schools – policy and September 2011 numbers

Will the Coalition's policy of free schools fly? An early measure of success – or failure – will be numbers. Later the researchers will study the effectiveness of free schools in improving attainment – but they will need some schools to put under the microscope.

September 2011 will be a key date. The government is apparently working on the assumption of 20 free schools opening in 2011. (As this number is barely whispered, it cannot really be called a target.)

Will there be 20? Maybe, perhaps not. But the numbers are affecting policy around the edges.

On Friday the website building.co.uk reported that as few as five “free” schools might open in September 2011. There was also the suggestion that the government might approach firms on the academies’ project management framework to get the schools set up, rather than allowing school groups to recruit their own project managers

Earlier in the week the Financial Times reported that “a dozen” free schools might open in 2011. It also indicated that several high-profile projects, including the proposed Bolingbroke Academy in Wandsworth and Toby Young’s West London Free School, are now facing delays.

At the weekend the FT also suggested that Michael Gove might give faith schools and independent fee-paying schools more “leeway” to join the 2011 cohort of free schools.

We will have to watch this space.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very Interesting!
Thank You!