now that's a statement of the obvious, if ever i've read one.Quote:
It said there was not enough money both to finish Labour's £55bn school renewal programme and fund free schools.
Lol.. I doubt our rebuild is going to go ahead as the plannig permission process has not even started yet!
That and I think our HT is mulling over the Academy option...
So finally the truth of where the funding will really be coming from appears...
So they think that letting the old buildings deteriorate, whilst letting mostly-crazy parents and similar groups set up their own schools in places like abandoned hospitals is a good use of funds? I'm not sold on this one.
Something that worries me when it comes to free schools is the old village primary schools. A number of them have been closed down over the years due to too few kids, but I can see a number of them being started up again by pro-active well-to-do parents ... perhaps even using some of the original buildings which haven't been sold of by the council (county or district) ...
This is fine for 7-9 years whilst their kids go through the school ... but the new parents might not have the same sense of ownership and commitment and so as the old parents move on (kids go to secondary schools / academies) then we go back to falling numbers in the primary free schools ... and they eventually fold.
I can see where it might work, but it needs a complete change of mentality of parents and communities to keep the commitment going. I think they could be really good for the community in some of these villages, but it is a worry.
Well from a totally selfish pov i love the idea. I live in the biggest private housing estate in Europe and because of Labour we only have a single 600 place secondary. If it hadn't been for the Church of England stepping in and funding it Labour would have been quite happy to leave us with nothing, all the while creaming the tax off one of the most prosperous estates in the area. Plans are already in motion for a "free school" in our estate. This is where, imo, the problem lies; Labour have left this country in such a mess, spent soooo much money on talking about building new schools but not actually getting their finger out, that the new govt. are totally justified in having a rethink about BSF.
Their plans for BSF in our area are an absolute joke and have been met by opposition at every step, hense why we have fell behind schedule and are now on hold. Only 10 years ago 2 of the worst school in the country were amalgamated into yet another failing school. This is to be rebuilt yet again, most likely into a failing school. The school over the road from this, which is one of the best in the area, was to be closed and the kids shipped over 10 miles accross the county. Plans were first proposed for 3 schools to be pulled down and built on a single site to make a super campus of over 3000 places in an area where the traffic is already a joke. Another school was possibly going to be relocated on a very nice public park, this is being bitterly opposed. The list goes on....
The article portrays the coalition as being nasty and evil for putting the half assed and wasteful plans on hold. IMO they are only being realistic, and if the school system wasnt in such a mess there would be no support for free schools. Obviously there will be silly proposals for schools in locations where there is no call for them, only time will tell if the new Govt. put the right system in place to wead these out.
I spent two years as the only member of a school's PTA, knowing that if I gave up no one would take over and help organize fund raising events. Parents were happy to turn up and spend their money at these events, but whatever tactic I tried to get new people interested in helping out failed. When parents find out that there will probably be some legal liabilities attached to running a free school, which will be directed at them personally, they may think twice. Once the initial momentum has fallen away, probably when the first cohort of pupils has left, where will the next generation of parents willing to run these schools come from?
You need continuity, and as far as I can see this would come from either the LEA or business. The LEA couldn't afford to run these extra schools without huge rises in both local and national taxation, and the business sector would go into it knowing that if they failed the government would be obliged to pick up the tab, either by continuing to have those pupils educated in the former free school, or by moving them on to schools within the state sector.
I like the idea of small schools, especially at primary level, where class sizes should be as small as possible so that pupils can receive much more attention in their formative years. In the planning for our new (secondary) school build, now seemingly put on hold, we were going to have smaller cohorts in separate units, so instead of one huge school for 1200, there would be four smaller units of 300, each catering for Years 7 to 11, to give it a more human perspective.
I fear that the village school, apart from a select few "shop window" establishments, is probably a pipe dream.