The Swedish style 'Free' school is quite a radical approach, one which the Tory part of the Govt is keen to promote
Free school: Conservatives eye the Swedish model - Education News, Education - The Independent
The govt is, to be frank, damned as regards to spending. The previous govt spent many years on a spending spree with money it simply didn't have and shifted a lot of high profile debts 'off book'.These debts are things like PFI and some defence contracts. These debts (and I'm not sure if BSF is counted as 'off book) are going to be the first to be examined and halted if need be. It may be that a simple buildings regeneration program replaces BSF, but I think in all honesty we shall see a halt to BSF, with no announcement as to what will replace it for the forseeable future.
What is a free school?
Do *not* confuse a free school with Anarchistic / Democratic free schools ... but it is about free education. Presently the system is 2 tier. You are state (ie from taxes) funded or privately funded (from fees, charitable donations ... correctly called independent schools, but more commonly 'public' schools). The state funded gets broken down into a number of areas from LA controlled, foundation (was GM), trust, trust co-operative, academy, etc ... and then you also have VA schools or schools with additional financial support. It gets messy.
The new term of Free Schools, as used by political groups, refers to an independent-style school, but set up by anyone (there are limitations on this but I won't go there yet) ad is then funded from the same state funding stream which would have gone to the school via the LA + what appears to be the money centrally held by the LA too.
What does it mean to us? Likely to be along the same lines as independent schools ... but still no idea about where the buck stops with it yet. I can see all sorts of long term funding issues when it comes to grants, and there is still not a clear picture on what the school strategy is from the Govt yet. A lot of Govt agencies are in purdah and cannot comment on anything right now. We are in limbo for another few weeks.
We should get a better view of the Govt plans when their Education Bill is outlined in the Queens Speech on May 25th. According to the BBC:
Top priorities are expected to be paving the way for more schools to become academies and for parents and other groups to set up schools
Michael Gove, the new Education Secretary, had pledged in the run-up to the election that a Conservative government would give schools judged to be "outstanding" by Ofsted inspectors an automatic right to become academies.
Academies are state-funded schools which are semi-independent.
His intention had been to legislate quickly so that schools could opt to become academies in September.
I'm waiting for the first one run by a Teachers' union.
(now where is that troll smiley?)
No mention of BSF under schools in the lib-con or is that con-dem policies ... mind you I can see teachers not liking the removal of collective pay deals ..
The Coalition: Our Programme for Government
The Government believes that we need to reform our school system to tackle educational inequality, which has widened in recent years, and to give greater powers to parents and pupils to choose a good school. We want to ensure high standards of discipline in the classroom, robust standards and the highest quality teaching. We also believe that the state should help parents, community groups and others come together to improve the education system by starting new schools.
We will promote the reform of schools in order to ensure that new providers can enter the state school system in response to parental demand; that all schools have greater freedom over the curriculum; and that all schools are held properly to account.
We will fund a significant premium for disadvantaged pupils from outside the schools budget by reductions in spending elsewhere.
We will give parents, teachers, charities and local communities the chance to set up new
The Coalition: our programme for government 29
schools, as part of our plans to allow new providers to enter the state school system in response to parental demand.
We will support Teach First, create Teach Now to build on the Graduate Teacher Programme, and seek other ways to improve the quality of the teaching profession.
We will reform the existing rigid national pay and conditions rules to give schools greater freedoms to pay good teachers more and deal with poor performance.
We will help schools tackle bullying in schools, especially homophobic bullying.
We will simplify the regulation of standards in education and target inspection on areas of failure.
We will give anonymity to teachers accused by pupils and take other measures to protect against false accusations.
We will seek to attract more top science and maths graduates to be teachers.
We will publish performance data on educational providers, as well as past exam papers.
We will create more flexibility in the exams systems so that state schools can offer qualifications like the IGCSE.
We will reform league tables so that schools are able to focus on, and demonstrate, the progress of children of all abilities.
We will give heads and teachers the powers they need to ensure discipline in the classroom and promote good behaviour.
We believe the most vulnerable children deserve the very highest quality of care. We will improve diagnostic assessment for schoolchildren, prevent the unnecessary closure of special schools, and remove the bias towards inclusion.
We will improve the quality of vocational education, including increasing flexibility for 14–19 year olds and creating new Technical Academies as part of our plans to diversify schools provision.
We will keep external assessment, but will review how Key Stage 2 tests operate in future.
We will ensure that all new Academies follow an inclusive admissions policy. We will work with faith groups to enable more faith schools and facilitate inclusive admissions policies in as many of these schools as possible.
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