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Free schools are an interesting idea but the government needs to be very careful to make sure that educational standards improve for all children and that the whole community benefits.

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Introduction

Eva Mathew "Free schools" are an interesting idea but the government needs to be very careful to make sure that educational standards improve for all children and that the whole community benefits. The idealogy behind "free Schools "are that they are non-profit making, independent, state-funded schools. They are able to choose what subjects they choose for their pupils to study and have many less restrictions imposed on them on how they choose to allocate their finances. For this very reason free schools would be varied in their nature as they would not be forced to follow for example the national curriculum. They are not defined by size or location: there is not a single type of free school or a single reason for setting them up. Free schools could be either primary or secondary schools. They could be located in traditional school buildings or appropriate community spaces such as office buildings or church halls. They could be set up by a wide range of proposers - including charities, universities, businesses, educational groups, visionary teachers or committed parents - who want to make a difference to the educational landscape. They might be needed because there simply are not enough school places in a local area and children have to travel too far to the nearest school. Free schools are not academically selective and open to children of all abilities. School is a defining factor in our lives and also promote a shared sense of community which is important as cohesive communities are generally more happy and safe than uncohesive ones - there ...read more.

Middle

I personally think it is unfair that some pupils don't have the opportunity to go to a high achieving school as I went through this whole school "lottery" trying for three high achieving schools but I failed to get into any of them, simply because I was out of the catchment area. It is worth setting up free schools in deprived areas where children are forced to go to a low achieving school, so they have the same opportunities that wealthier children have. Michael Gove planned to branch out free schools here after apparent success in America with free schools, where 99 free schools have been established. Evidence suggests that 83% of free schools in the USA are doing no better than their conventional counterparts - which brings me to question whether the opening of free schools really are beneficial and whether the opening of them would cut the bridge between rich and poor. However in further research some students in these schools feel that they are in a better position in a free school where they apply rigorous discipline and are challenging. This again makes the idea of free schools questionable. In Source 3, a group of six hundred parents expressed their desire for their children to go to a school other than the local state school. This brings about the conclusion that if this many parents are unhappy with the type of provision of state schooling institutions, something must be done. ...read more.

Conclusion

This has caused a very great divide in good and average performing schools and caused a lot of low morale for many parents in this country. If free schools can address this major issue it can only be a good thing. However, it can be argued that the odds are stacked against them. In our present times with our bleak economic outlook any system that is trying to get on its feet will gobble a lot of financial resources and one has to look at where this money is coming from and whether our already existing state schools who do not join in will suffer as a result. Competition is whole heartedly healthy generally in a society but not an unfair one where competition takes place in schools where clever kids are already creamed off and able to go to better schools. This can be a major disadvantage and in itself causes segregation of a different sort. I feel that if people are inspired to take on the opportunity of setting up a free school then they probably have a vision of a better , alternative system they are aspiring to which is a good thing as the government has set up a lot of stringent conditions which have to be passed to set up a free school. In all, apathy and not doing anything to address the issues in our schools is a worse misdemeanor than at least trying to see whether free schools hold the answer to our problems and so we can only hope for our future generations that free schools work. As in everything in life only time will tell. ...read more.

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