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Free School Futures?


Today is ‘The Future of our Schools’ day in the UK election campaign and the Conservative Party education spokesman is proposing that groups of parents should be given the right and the funds to set-up their own schools if they can’t find ones that they like for their children.
Now, this sounds very familiar and, if I am not mistaken, I am hearing the siren sounds of someone who has at last been looking to Denmark, Holland and Sweden for some ideas rather than forever gazing across the pond.
Parents in Scandinavia and the Netherlands have for many, many years been able to send their children to the local folkeskole or, where this did not meet their religious or political viewpoints, they could choose to pay a very small amount (£50 a month) to send their offspring to a state-supported community free school.
This is a lived reality for so many children and families. It is still around after several decades because it works. It gives a challenging and fulfilling alternative to the state system. Not only that, it also undermines the notion that independent = private = expensive = toffs.
Just this, on its own, is good enough news for me to consider voting for the tories for the first time in my life!!

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