Tuesday 11 October 2011

The Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition government’s ‘free schools’ in England

Hatcher, R. (2011) The Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition government’s ‘free schools’ in England. Educational Review, 63(4). In press.

 

Abstract

Free schools are new state-funded but privately-run schools set up under the academies legislation. Free schools represent the most overtly market-oriented policy within the Conservative-led Coalition government’s school reform programme in England and have provoked intense controversy, centering on issues of pupil attainment, social equality, democracy and privatisation.

 

This paper evaluates the evidence for the performance of the models on which the policy is based: charter schools in the US, free schools in Sweden, and Labour’s academies. The potential impact on local schools is assessed. Issues of democratic accountability are discussed, in terms of the application process, the governance of free schools, and their impact on local authorities. Factors affecting the future trajectory of the free school initiative are discussed, including the opportunities for private companies to set up and run free schools for profit. The paper concludes by considering the challenge which free schools represent to their critics.

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Discuss...

  • Pat O'Hara says: What a tale, sadly it is not a one off story is it? I think this monster called Academies has gotten...
  • steve richards says: Education is not the business of business; this is political. Company owners & shareholders...
  • Janet Downs says: Ofsted said Lilac Sky Multi Academies Trust, along with governors and school leaders had not...
  • Janet Downs says: There’s also the question of conflict of interest. ATT awarded an ICT contract to Gaia...
  • Janet Downs says: Council appears to be acting arbitrarily. Sedgehill’s last Ofsted (Oct 2013) was RI but...

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