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Too many free schools

(25 Posts)
Mishap Mon 13-Jan-14 14:04:26

What is the point in granting permission for the establishment of free primary schools in rural areas where small schools are already struggling to survive?

They just sign the death warrant of some excellent little schools that truly are gems, both educationally and socially.

It is usually the parents who are insecure and in need of something to occupy their minds who agonise about whether to take their children from small primaries and try out "fringe" free schools - they are serving their own needs very often and not the children's, who are often perfectly happy where they are.

Sorry to rant - but this crops up repeatedly round here and it really is just crazy. There is a parent here who is touting for custom for a proposed free school and stands at the school gates trying to wheedle people round to her cause - and she does it by playing on people's insecurities. It is the children who suffer by being chopped and changed when what they need is security.

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 13-Jan-14 14:05:18

Totally agree with you. Free schools are a ridiculous idea in my opinion.

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 13-Jan-14 14:06:19

and shock at the woman at the school gates!!! Think the head should have a word.

Eloethan Mon 13-Jan-14 18:21:08

I wholeheartedly agree with you Mishap.

redeagle777 Fri 21-Feb-14 14:25:22

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mthompson Thu 29-May-14 12:09:10

It is already an advantage that Free Schools were given to serve students and families who can't afford to send their kids kids to a high pay School. Wish everyone must think positive on this things since all of our purpose on having school is all the same - to let our kids learn.

granjura Thu 29-May-14 14:42:29

Totally agree too- it's all about divide and rule- and a disaster imho. If I was in charge- I'd abolish all of them and religious schools as well.

HollyDaze Thu 29-May-14 15:00:16

Once again, I am in agreement with granjura. I would also abolish all religious schools - there are other institutions in existence to teach religion and schools should be there for general education of all children.

durhamjen Thu 29-May-14 15:26:41

No brief for church schools, hyaving been to one and taught in one, but before 1870 and the Forster Education Act, the only education that poor children had was in church schools.

granjura Thu 29-May-14 15:28:20

Where I grew up and where I live now- there are no private schools, no religious school- all schools are for all children. That means that the mix is huge- and that the parents with influence and/or money also send their kids to the same school- and fight hard to ensure their kids get a good education- which benefits ALL CHILDREN, poor, rich and in between, immigrants, ALL. Once the parents with more influence can by-pass the system, they don't care anymore if the classes are large, the teaching and facilities poor, etc.

durhamjen Fri 30-May-14 00:56:25

I'd like a system like that, granjura. In fact that's what I've always espoused. I think if we got rid of private schools, which free schools really are, whatever Gove says, every child would have a better chance.

Iam64 Fri 30-May-14 09:25:39

Another one in full agreement with Mishap about Free Schools and with Granjura about removing faith schools and private education.

granjura Fri 30-May-14 13:05:03

I don't hink it would be possible to outlaw private schools- certainly not in the UK where they are ingrained into the system for 10C or more.

Here is Switzerland, there are many private schools in areas like Geneva and Zurich- but mainly due to the expats there. Many come for a limited period of time, and they want tuition in English, with the English type exams - in preparation for when they return home or are sent to work elsewhere. This is understandable- especially as here, and every where else on the Continent- the Baccalauréat system requires students to continue all subjects to 18/19- and students without fluent knowledge of the local language, including in writing (like French, German or Italian depending on area + a good knowledge of a second of the above languages) cannot go on to follow the academic streams.

However, for the huge majority of the locals, there is no interest in private education- because the state education system is well funded, with small class sizes (compared to the UK where I often taught classes of 33!), etc.

Sadly, as I said previously, be it the NHS or the education system- once the better-off and more influential people can by-pass the system with their cheque books or credit card, it becomes out of sight, out of mind... and the system is allowed to be under-funded, etc.

rubysong Fri 30-May-14 19:00:04

The enthusiastic parents who set up free schools will surely lose interest once their own children have moved on. Then what will happen? If they want to contribute they always have the option of becoming parent governors in the existing primary schools.

JessM Fri 30-May-14 19:37:21

There is a huge amount of public money being used to subsidise the setting up of these free schools. it is encouraging all kinds of fringe groups such as "Steiner" to try to get state funding and subsidies to set up. And Steiner do not actually front up and tell parents that their philosophy is founded on the cobbled together religious beliefs of Steiner. The believe for instance that mental disability is caused by "karma".

durhamjen Fri 30-May-14 23:27:02

Agree with everything you say, granjura. The strange thing is that only 7.5% of children go to private/public schools but they rule everything. Why have the rest of us let them?
Public schools were originally for poor kids, but were hijacked.
Small class size is what people pay for.

Eloethan Fri 30-May-14 23:44:48

Did anybody see the Alan Bennett interview last week? He thought that private schools should be banned but he doubted that this would ever happen.

On the subject of schools, several psychologists have stated their belief that it is damaging to young children to send them to boarding school. They suggest that removing children from their families at a young age can cause them to deal with the loss by "closing down" their emotions, eventually leading to adults who are unable to experience empathy.

POGS Sat 31-May-14 01:13:39

So, what I don't understand is this.

There are quite a few GN's who say they have sent their children to private schools/religious schools on past threads. I assume none of the GN's who have quoted they would like to see them banned have sent their children to either a public or religious school!

What are you saying about those GN's and parents in general who made a choice to do so. Are you saying, in your opinion, they were/are bad parents, made poor parental choices, gained an advantage over state educated school, sought to ensure their children were one of the 7.5% of children 'who will rule everything' according to one post.

Take Alan Bennett as an example, now he has been mentioned.

Bennett went to Christ Church, Upper Armley, 'Church of England' school. He gained a place at Cambridge but eventually opted to study at Exeter College, Oxford. He went on to do research and teach for a good many years at Oxford.

Is he not being one of the 'many' hypocrites who have either sent their children to, or studied themselves in either a private/religious school but don't want other parents to do the same?

Why do so many people the likes of Dianne Abbot, Tristrum Hunt, Polly Toynbee, YABB &Co harp on about state education as being the mecca of education and yet they have sent their own kids to private schools, hypocrites the lot of them.

I didn't send my daughter to a private school, I never went to a private school. I sure as hell do not think it is my business to tell another parent what they should do with their kids education, why would I?

Labour started the Academy school system and I think they have proved to show some really good results. The Coalition carried on and if Labour get back in they too will keep the free school/Academy system.

I do agree however that if an area does not have a problem with either poor state schools or sufficient school places the money allocated should go to where it will best be made use of.

Mamie Sat 31-May-14 05:18:30

Let me try and explain POGS.
In the UK not all religious schools are private schools. In fact the vast majority aren't. State schools can be Catholic or C of E Controlled or Aided; the Aided schools are actually slightly more closely tied to the church than the Controlled ones. They are ordinary schools with ordinary catchments, which are tied to the church because of the mish-mash of historical arrangements for founding schools in the UK. Some are much more closely tied to the local church than others, quite often the local vicar will be on the board of governors and will take the odd assembly. A representative from the diocese will attend an interview for a new headteacher. That is broadly the extent of church involvement. They are LA schools in every other way.
My GDs who do not come from a religious family are at a C of E primary. It is their local school, there is no choice. There is a C of E secondary school in the town, but they will not go there because that involves church attendance and professions of faith which my DD would not be prepared to undertake. The school is still an ordinary state school, though some parents do prefer it for their children, for a variety of reasons. The only hypocrisy that I can see involved is with parents who pretend to be Christians to get their children into such schools. Many, many people in the UK went to these schools, Alan Bennet was one of them, (as a young child, though he went on to Leeds Modern School). I do not see any hypocrisy in a clever child going through the ordinary state system to get to England's top universities. I am not sure what point you are trying to make tbh. hmm
There is now a mass of data to show that Academies do not perform better than state schools. Free schools are a disaster and are failing far too many children.
I would also to see the end of church schools as I think they complicate the system and are an archaic hangover from the nineteenth century.
I hope this helps.

JessM Sat 31-May-14 07:19:51

State funded "church schools" can be divisive and discriminatory. A nephew who is in a very nice comprehensive near the eastern end of the Central Line, showed me his school photo. You know the ones, 900 kids lined up in a tiered semicircle. After peering at the faces for a while it struck me the school was 95% white, about 5% afro-caribbean. Where were the Asians? Not a single one in sight. This is, after all, London.
Turns out the school is run by a collaboration of local churches (Anglican, Catholic etc). hmm
Also in N Ireland there have long been separate Protestant and Catholic state funded schools - and look what it did for them. They are supposed to be integrating these days but there is a lot of dragging of feet.

thatbags Sat 31-May-14 07:42:56

Well said, mamie.

Mamie Sat 31-May-14 07:43:50

Indeed they can, Jess. I would get rid of them too.
What I was trying to point out above (albeit a bit long-windedly), is that it is ridiculous to criticise Alan Bennett for the fact that his working-class parents sent him to the local state schools and he went on to get a scholarship to Oxford. Where is the hypocrisy in that?

JessM Sat 31-May-14 07:51:31

I agree, not the best example Mamie .

Nelliemoser Sat 31-May-14 08:18:17

Yes Free schools are a very bad idea, they take resources from the local schools and I would also be very worried that they might cream off the children who have more social advantages and leave the rest in schools that are even more under funded.

I do wonder what sort of indoctrination may occur by poorly regulated schools of a particular faith. From Evangelic Christian creationists to fundamental Islamists.

As for the woman touting for pupils in the school playground that is not acceptable.

Iam64 Sat 31-May-14 19:09:22

Support for Nellimoser's post. My children went to the local county primary and on to the local CofE high school, admittance was linked to church attendance. We looked at both the local high schools, I was a bit worried about the possibility of rigid, indoctrination on a faith basis. The open day convinced me I could discount that anxiety. I don't feel hypocritical in adding my support to those who say faith schools, academies, free schools should be axed. The children are now in their late 20's. They and their friends still speak positively about their time at high school, where one of the things they were exposed to was to appreciate people of other faiths, and of no faith. I wouldn't have sent them if the school had been evangelical. I have a fear of fundamentalists of any faith.