Research Shows Primary School Place Shortages Worsen
NUT research shows primary school place shortages worsen while resources being wasted on free schools are adding to surplus secondary places – read the full press release
The impact of free schools on neighbouring schools
NUT research shows that many of the open free schools and those due to open later this year, will have a negative impact on existing local schools. Read more here.
NUT/YouGov Opinion Poll On Free Schools - Summary Analysis
Beyond the Spin of Government policy
This document sets out the NUT’s case against Free Schools and argues instead for
a good local school for every child and every community. It is a companion booklet
to our extensive range of publications about academies in general .
Free Schools Beyond the Spin
The Government plans to set up a new type of school called "Free Schools". These schools, although state funded, are completely independent and do not even have to employ qualified teachers. The NUT opposes Free Schools because they will undermine the quality of education for children and teachers' pay and conditions.
What are Free Schools?
Free schools are a new type of school. The Government legislated for them in the Academies Act 2010 and hopes that the first Free Schools will open in September 2011. Free Schools will be independent schools with state funding. Any "suitable sponsor" can make an application to establish a Free School, including parents, teachers, charities, academy sponsors; universities, independent schools, community and faith groups, or businesses. The sponsor must be able to show some evidence of parental demand, such as a petition or declaration from interested parents.
Free Schools' "Freedoms"
Free schools can:
- set their own pay and conditions for staff;
- employ teachers without qualified teacher status;
- determine their own admissions arrangements;
- decide upon their own curriculum;
- set the length of terms and school days; and
- operate independently of the local authority and outside the local family of schools.
The NUT & Free Schools
The NUT opposes Free schools. We believe it is wrong that state funding should be given to small groups of individuals to run schools that are unaccountable to their local communities. In Sweden, where the Free Schools policy originated, three quarters of Free Schools are run by profit-making companies and there is clear evidence that they have resulted in segregation. The evidence on US charter schools is no better. We believe that Free Schools:
- are an attack on teachers' professional status;
- will undermine national pay and conditions for teachers;
- will undermine local authorities;
- will break up common admission arrangements
- will damage local democratic planning of school places;
- will redirect hundreds of millions of pounds that would be better spent on supporting existing schools.
The NUT's case against Free Schools is set out in the following document:
FAQi's on free Schools
This is a collection of frequently asked questions and the answers on the topic of Free Schools.
Is a Free School Planned for Your Area?
So far the Government has approved 35 Free School applications to business case stage. Click here to see if an application has been approved in your area. However we know that many more groups are planning to apply to set up a Free School. Keep an eye on developments locally and if you hear of any plans for a Free School, send information to your Regional Office and copy in Head Office at firstname.lastname@example.org