Posted by: madkentdragon | August 30, 2011

The New Free Schools Where Does It Leave The Rest?

I’ve just read an article about the new free schools, it sounds good – well if you are a parent it does! The hours are eight till six, wonder how many breaks the child will get? What impressed me more was that teachers are happy to sign up for the longer hours, these must be truly dedicated teachers!

However my main concern is why is it necessary to set up these free schools in the first place? Why are schools failing? These new schools can obviously pick and choose the pupils who will attend and so little John or Joanna with a reading problem or a behavioural problem will probably
not get in.

This will therefore not give a true statistic in the ever present league tables and will be another bullet shot through our failing educational system.

Don’t get me wrong, I admire the dedication of these teachers who will put in longer hours. But remember they are outside of the state pay system and will probably be paid more, which will mean that teachers who are fed up with coming up against the micro managed politically correct
system that is prevalent in the organisation to day will come forward to offer their skills in a freer environment.

The children who emerge fresh faced from these schools will be those who attain better grades, better and more useful university places and
probably go on to achieve well in their chosen careers

But where does this leave the rest of the children, those whose parents either didn’t care enough to apply or were unable to gain admittance? With the better teachers training the elite, who will be left to teach them?

All schools should be able to teach their pupils to a high standard, I know there are some pupils who will never manage the high echelons of academia – but even these children should have a chance at learning their three Rs and not end up on the ever increasing pile of NEETs.

Come on parents, do something – if you don’t think your child is being taught properly – say so; don’t let your school become a place where children don’t learn, join the school governors or the parent- teachers association and make your voice heard.

If you don’t there will be three classes of schools: Public Schools, Free Schools and State Schools and the last group will be the dumping ground for every child who has a difficulty in learning.

When I first started school in the dim and distant past (1953), if a child did not achieve the expected standard, they were kept back a year and given a second chance – and if a child exceeded expectations they were encouraged to go up two years, and it worked; it certainly did not cause
psychological problems.

There were three types of secondary school – Grammar Schools, Technical Schools and Secondary Modern, but all had their high achievers and
could be passed up or down the system and most had a chance at earning a living; and games or sports were played to win, with just a “hard luck” if you lost.

So come on parents, start taking a real interest in your child’s education, send them to free schools if you wish – but remember those who are
left in the state system must still have a chance of learning and progressing in this world



  1. There appears to be a view that all schools will eventually end up as academies and free schools will inevitable become an inclusive part of that ideology. This kind of works in a steady state environment but no-one’s really sure if funding will be in place to replace schools once they become unserviceable or how to deal with the ebb and flow of intake. In the past this was the role of the Local Authority, which also designated specific schools for teaching children with special needs and ensured that the learning experience was as inclusive as possible. I’m not sure how this will be addressed in the new world of academies and free schools but there is a concern that this approach will foster exclusivity instead of inclusivity. This may be what people want but I really hope it isn’t.

    I also fully agree with the statement that if a parent is unhappy with the way their child is being taught there are plenty of opportunities to have a say and it’s really important that parents speak up. On the flip side if a child is doing really well then it’s also important to feed that back as well. The key is engagement with the school and to work in partnership with teachers whenever possible. Education isn’t yet a service where you can outsource certain aspects of raising children but it looks like we may just be heading that way.

  2. As I have felt for a very long time there is a class system here and that the lowest class is missing out. This government is trying hard to take us back to the middle ages and starting with the children is a cowards way of making any changes. However to the point.

    Children in Spain start school at 8am lunch is at 1pm they go back to school around 3.30pm till 5pm. They have around 2-21/2 hrs break midday. Whereas I realise this is not possible for many people especially in the UK, I also have to ask the question what sort of break will these children get? think about it! You start work at 9am till when 5pm they will go to these ‘free’ schools at 8am and stay till 6pm, practically the same hours as you so while parents are breathing a sigh of relief I seriously wonder if they actually consider their children. Its a very long day for a child and they can only learn so much each day – thats been soundly proved. So when will they do their homework?

    There is also another side to this hidden in this ‘free school thinking’. If the children are at school for this length of time, and their parents are at work, when do they get family time and time to attend all the activities that they probably do? Or will they be expected to do homework when they get home? If so what time will they get to bed? These are things that although they might seem minor are really quite important.

    Is this what the Government thinks is helping educate the children or is it a way of getting parents to work longer hours?

    I am just glad that my children are now grown up and not stuck in a ‘rich v poor’ education system. I agree with the writer, just where does it leave the children who dont make it to these schools?

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