Tynedale: Middle schools
Published at 07:42, Wednesday, 23 January 2013
THE latest Conservative propaganda to hit the doormats in the Tyne Valley and Ponteland is suggesting, without producing any evidence, that Liberal Democrats are scheming to end middle schools.
I am sure your readers won’t need reminding that when middle schools were under real threat from the last Labour administration, Liberal Democrats worked with parent groups to ensure that the danger was defeated. The commitment to supporting the settled wish of parents still stands.
However, there is a real danger in the offing which could adversely affect our first and middle schools. That is the advent of free schools.
The problem is that where pupil numbers are static or even falling, the impact of even one free school could reduce numbers in the three tier system.
Free schools are not required to follow the national curriculum as strictly as schools in the state sector. For example, a free school that followed the Finnish model of not engaging in formal lessons until pupils are seven, could be very attractive to parents and pupils who currently support first and middle schools because they are also considered to be more child centred.
Parents will want to know why state schools can’t have similar freedom from central government control. Perhaps Mr Gove, the Secretary of State for Education, could answer this question to us all.
Published by http://www.hexhamcourant.co.uk