Articles on free schools

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Gove: Shutting the door on education. Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Gove’s revolution leaves behind a fast-food education system

In what must surely be seen as a significant demotion, secretary of state for education, Michael Gove, has been moved to become chief whip in David Cameron’s cabinet reshuffle. Given he is such a big fan…
Some schools just need a push. EPA/Gary Rothstein

Explainer: what was the Louisiana school takeover?

The Department for Education has been scrambling to end the crisis over allegations of extremism at Muslim schools in Birmingham (the so-called Trojan Horse affair). Among all the ideas floated, one, the…
Who gets to go to a free school? Tim Ireland/PA Archive

Explainer: how do free schools allocate places?

As a type of academy operating outside of local authority control, free schools act as their own admissions authority. They can choose the criteria they wish to use to prioritise the allocation of places…
Cameron and Gove team up to open a Birmingham free school in September 2013. Paul Rogers/The Times/PA Archive

What are free schools the answer to?

The government’s free school policy, which allows local communities to set up new schools that are funded by the state, has come under attack in recent days by MPs and sparked a row within the coalition…
Park View School is at the centre of the allegations. Joe Giddens/PA

Ofsted’s future at stake after Trojan Horse scandal

The recent furore around the so-called Trojan Horse plot, which has seen 25 Birmingham schools being investigated over fears of a takeover by radical Muslims, raises wider issues for the already beleaguered…
Destination unknown: measuring youth unemployment is a fraught business. Martin Rickett/PA

Hard Evidence: who are the NEETS?

Governments across Europe are searching for effective policies to drive down youth unemployment. Most European countries have experienced an alarming rise in the levels of young people (16-24) who are…
They’re watching us over in England. kemorgan65

What Swedish free schools reveal about social segregation

School-based education is undergoing significant changes across much of the developed world with private providers increasingly taking over the delivery of education from public providers. In both England…
Al-Madina free school governor Abdullah Shahjan was told his school was disfunctional. Rui Vieira/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Can an Islamic education produce critical thinking?

The closure of the secondary section of the Al-Madinah free school in Derby will be celebrated by those who oppose free schools and what are euphemistically labelled “faith” schools. Whatever the stated…
Tale of the two Michaels. John Stillwell/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Ofsted row gets to heart of battle over Tory education policy

It is not very often that an education story is the lead item on the BBC’s Today programme, but the apparent sacking of Baroness Sally Morgan as chair of schools inspectorate Ofsted and comments by its…
Al-Madinah school in Derby: making news for all the wrong reasons. Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Growth of academies and free schools reinforces student segregation

Each new administration tends to try to improve compulsory education by introducing a new and purportedly better type of school. The current government has at least three, and is pushing vocational schools…

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