Monthly Archives: September 2016

fis-edsloutions ltd reports on bbc report on free schools

The latest wave of free schools approved to open in England include one run by Saracens Rugby Club and a school for children with autism.

They are among a total of 77 new approved state-funded schools, run by academy trusts, community groups, parents and teachers, say ministers.

It is the biggest wave of free schools this parliament and continues progress towards the goal of 500 more by 2020.

The NUT said the news could not hide the fact “education policy is a mess”.

But Saracens chairman Nigel Wray said the approval of the club’s new free school presented “a marvellous opportunity”.

Saracens High School, a new secondary for north London, is the result of a partnership between European Cup holders Saracens and another local school, Ashmole Academy, says the Department for Education.

The aim is to combine academic achievement with sporting success and teamwork, said Mr Wray.

‘More options’

Expansion of the free school programme was a Conservative manifesto pledge in the 2015 general election.

Since 2010, 429 of the schools have been set up, 42 of which opened this month, including the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts sixth form, which has Sir Paul McCartney as its patron.

The additional free schools approved include:

  • Cumbria Academy for Autism, led by local parents of autistic children
  • 21 primary schools in the Midlands, south and east of England run by REAch2 Academy Trust
  • Three new secondaries and a primary run by Harris Federation to include a specialist science school in south London

“Our country needs more good school places for children. This next wave of free schools means more options for parents so they can choose a place that really works for their child’s talents and needs,” said Education Secretary Justine Greening.

“‎Alongside the reforms announced last week this will build on the progress that has seen 1.4 million more children in good or outstanding schools than in 2010. This will help deliver the true meritocracy the prime minister has pledged to create.”

 

fis-edsolutions ltd- Greening pledges grammar ‘meritocracy’

A new generation of grammar schools in England will widen access to good school places, said the education secretary – but Labour said they would produce more “segregation”.

Justine Greening told MPs expanding grammar schools would help families who could not afford to buy houses in the catchment areas of good schools.

Ms Greening said the proposals would create a “truly meritocratic” system.

But Labour’s Angela Rayner said: “Stop your silly class war.”

The plans for expanding selection in schools, announced by the prime minister last week, have been presented to Parliament.

‘Meritocratic’ or ‘segregation’

Ms Greening said it would increase the number of good school places and make sure there is a school system that “works for everyone, not just the privileged few”.

Labour’s shadow education secretary Ms Rayner said the new mantra of the Conservative party should be “segregation, segregation, segregation”.

And she asked the education secretary to explain who would decide which non-selective schools should be able to convert to become selective.

Ms Greening said: “We want to look again at selective schools and how they can open up excellent places to more children – particularly the most disadvantaged.

“We will therefore look at how we can relax the rules on expanding selective schools, allow new ones to open and non-selective schools to become selective where there is a demand.”

 

fis-edsolutions blogs report Education Secretary Justine Greening says she will not be pushing forward with moves to scrap the parent governor role from schools in England.

Education Secretary Justine Greening says she will not be pushing forward with moves to scrap the parent governor role from schools in England.

She told the Commons Education Committee parent governors often played a “vital role” in school improvement.

The proposal to remove the need for academies to have elected parents on governing bodies emerged in March in plans to make all schools academies.

It sparked an outcry from MPs, schools and teaching unions.

‘Build from outside’

Answering a question about the issue from Labour’s Stephen Timms, Ms Greening said: “One way we can ensure that schools who are doing a less good job improve is getting parents more involved.

“Often, and I’ve seen this as a constituency MP, when schools turn around it’s when parents become more engaged and more invested in the school’s success and that helps build the school from the outside as well as the hard work teachers are doing on the inside.

“It doesn’t happen overnight, it takes years to do but parents are part of how success gets delivered so I do not think we should proceed with that.”

The planned removal of the parent governor role, in the Education for All White Paper, was widely criticised, with Jeremy Corbyn calling it an attack on parents.

David Cameron defended the plans, saying it did not mean that parents would be removed from governing bodes.