Friday, 25 June 2010

Class war: Michael Gove, 'free schools' and inequality

In a new feature article for Counterfire, Neil Faulkner argues the 'free schools' plan is one front of the ConDem government's class war.

'Con-Dem education minister Michael Gove has announced that any suitable group of ‘proposers’ will henceforward have the right to set up a ‘free school’ – one funded by government, but outside local authority control. Potential proposers include parents, teachers, charities, universities, independent schools, community and faith groups, and, of course, businesses.

Anyone, it seems, can do it. ‘A Free School could be set up by any suitable proposer, where there is evidence of parental demand such as a petition or declaration from interested parents’.

How many parents do you need? No answer. What consultation process is required? No answer. What democratic control? No answer. ‘The Secretary of State will consider each proposal on its merits ...’

So Gove will decide. He will decide whether one of our schools is handed over to private business on the say-so of a bunch of middle-class parents meeting in someone’s living-room. Irrespective of what anyone else thinks. Irrespective of the impact on local schools provision.

And in case takers are slow to come forward, Gove’s department is actively lobbying headteachers and governing bodies, with the usual mix of bribes, inducements, and promises.'

Read more HERE.

Picture: thanks to Political Scrapbook


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