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SALFORD CITY COUNCIL TO ‘ENCOURAGE’ FREE SCHOOLS TO SOLVE PUPIL PLACE CRISIS
 

Star date: 7th November 2018

SALFORD COUNCIL TO "ENCOURAGE" THERESA MAY'S PET PROJECT

Free schools, which are outside local authority control and have been roundly condemned by teaching unions and the Anti Academies Alliance, are to be welcomed by Salford Council to fulfil a need to solve the school pupil places crisis.

The Council's Cabinet is to meet next week to approve a 'Free Schools Strategy' to "encourage applications from endorsed proposers". Tory Prime Minster Theresa May has also 'encouraged' the creation of free schools as one of her pet projects.

Full details here...


"We wouldn't condemn Salford for their decision but neither are we entirely comfortable with it..." National Education Union

Salford City Council is to tear up any socialist principles and endorse a strategy of encouraging free schools in the city, in order to help solve the pupil place crisis.

Next week, Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett, and his Cabinet are set to rubber stamp a Free Schools Strategy which would be "encouraging free school applications, from endorsed proposers, to support the requirement for additional school places in key areas of the city where the need is clearly proven."

The creation of so-called 'free schools' is one of Theresa May's pet projects. She has promised to create five hundred of the things. They are funded by the Government but remain outside of the control of local councils, can set their own curriculum and admission policies, can employ non-qualified teachers and are basically unaccountable to anyone but the Government.

Shadow Education Secretary, Angela Rayner, has promised to end free schools under a Labour Government, telling the Party's Conference this year that she would "scrap the inefficient free school programme and instead focus on delivering what works to get the best results for pupils".

Under current legislation councils cannot open new schools, despite Salford reaching what it calls 'saturation point'... "The Mayoral Working Party is considering the options to manage further expansions of the school estate and the potential opportunity of the strategic use of the free school policy" the Strategy states "There is also recurrent and increasing demand for children and young people in out of City high cost specialist provision.

"The LA is keen to take a proactive approach, to ensure that the most effective free
schools are approved in the city, to best cater for the needs of our children and
young people" it adds "...To enable LAs to influence free schools being approved in Salford with providers which will be strong partners as opposed to ones which do not wish to engage with the council it is proposed that Salford LA engages with preferred providers to facilitate this..."

It is believed that at least two new 'free' secondary schools are needed through this process, including one that specialises in Special Education Needs (SEN).

The report to Cabinet puts the risk of embarking on such a strategy as 'High'. The report also states that "This framework has been consulted on with Trade Unions in 2017. Feedback was positive and no suggestions for amendments or additions were made."

Teaching trade unions and the Anti Academies Alliance have roundly condemned the concept of free schools and have campaigned against them, but this latest strategy sees both the unions and Labour Party run Salford Council compromising in order to solve a crisis, as the least worst option.

"Under Government policy the only new schools that can open have to be free schools, they don't get a choice" Peter Middleman, National Education Union Regional Secretary told the Salford Star "In Salford there are a number of interested parties, some of whom might be more benevolent than others that are approaching the Council with a view to opening a new free school.

"That's a compromise for us obviously" he added "We would prefer that the authorities could make adequate provision under total democratic control but until the Government or Government policy changes that is not the position. We wouldn't condemn Salford for their decision but neither are we entirely comfortable with it because we do reject the free school philosophy."

When Salford Council last delved into Tory philosophy academies the result was a disaster, with the Salford Academy Trust - a joint Salford Council, Salford College and Salford University venture that ran four local schools - forced to wind up after the Department of Education stated that it did not have 'sufficient capacity to improve its schools'....


See also previous Salford Star article Four Salford Schools In Turmoil As Academy Trust Wound Up – click here

The end wrote
at 19:25:53 on 11 November 2018
Anything that keeps salford LA away from education decisions is good thing. Just look at the mess they have made of their own academy trust
 
The Fiddler wrote
at 20:48:38 on 09 November 2018
I went to school in Salford 40 years ago..... it was awful. Very poor standards of teaching. Classmates who were disinterested in educating themselves.. and that's still the main problem in schools today. Our secondary schools still kick out massive numbers of kids who have can,t read and write, have no qualifications and not much hope of a decent future.... unless our Salford education teams can sort out this basic issue,,,, then arguing about whether or not our schools are faith based, free or academies or not is a bit irrelevant ... Schools are either good or bad..... and nearly all secondary schools in Salford are currently bad.
 
Rayofsunshine wrote
at 15:58:26 on 09 November 2018
Yet again,Bob the regular avoids the real issue - shouĺd Saĺford use free schools as a means tò create extra pupil places?
 
Bob the regular wrote
at 06:19:30 on 09 November 2018
Ray has things twisted again. I didn't say if I liked free schools or not (I do like them , one less thing for the council to make a balls off). All I asked was who ray thought was right, Granny Raynor and jezza who say they are going to get rid of them, or our council who are introducing them. If it were up to me, I would bring Grammar schools back. It was that wicked old bag Thatcher who got rid of most of them when she was education minister. The lefties who don't like grammar schools never praised her for that though did they? Mark my words, one of the new secondary schools will be faith based, on the old student village site, and it will be like a Grammar school, but I don't think my grankids will be going to it.
 
Rayofsunshine wrote
at 11:40:07 on 08 November 2018
Can dispetic wackos such as Bob the regular and Wrote read? Judging from their comments on this article,"No"! As the article makes quite clear,under the current government Local Authorities can only create new schools which are "free"/Faith based! Should Salford put ideological purity above the need for the provision of extra school places? If it did choose this principled stance,opposition to free schools,hypocritical hyenas,such as Bob the regular,would cry "Looney Left!" Unfortunately,by itself,Salford cannot in any real sense, oppose the opening of free schools;at best the hope is that any new free schools formed in Salford co-operate with the city's existing educational architecture!
 
wrote
at 05:58:51 on 08 November 2018
@Bob. A bit of ‘Doublethink’ would work.That way it wouldn’t cause him/her any cognitive dissonance, I think that’s how most politcal dogmatics deal with it. On the subject though I don’t agree with free schools, the standard of teaching falls and they end up being run by religious dickheads more concerned with indoctrination than actual education.
 
Bob the regular wrote
at 18:56:03 on 07 November 2018
Now little Yez ,who is right here, is it Jezza and his glamerous grannie Raynor who is right on this one ,or is it Dennett and his mob? Both cannot be right. Would I be right in guessing one of these new secondary schools might be a "Faith based one"? Dennett and Merry like a bit of faith.
 
wrote
at 16:44:31 on 07 November 2018
Wasn’t the Council using the falling population to justify closing schools? Combine that with national goverment bent on peddling their new flawed ideas and it’s the education of the youth who suffer. Even if the Council did have the power to build new schools, you can bet that they’d use a PFI to do it. Between them they don’t have two braincells to rub together. An incompetent shower of bastards, all of them.
 
Kenny wrote
at 14:29:25 on 07 November 2018
If there are a shortage of school place, then who is to blame?. Over the years Salford has closed school after school to save money. Nuff said.
 
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