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Free School is a lesson in stupidity

By Somerset Standard  |  Posted: June 28, 2012

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The latest news from the Frome Steiner Free School is that there is a row over admissions – children from Bruton and Gillingham getting places while children living next to the proposed site on Park Street have been turned down. Hardly an indication of local support... which of course any proposed Free School is required to demonstrate.

Now, the school have said that there won't be a traffic problem at Park Road because children will all be walking – from Bruton?

But the good news for the school is that there won't be a problem with planning permission – at a Free School conference recently, the Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove stated he will overrule any refusal of Planning Permission. So much for the Conservatives' 'Localism' plans – and leave Frome with a serious traffic problem.

Now, anyone with any knowledge of the law will know that Mr Gove's statement is highly prejudicial to the planning process, by indicating what the outcome of the planning application will be before any application is made. There is already a legal challenge to the Beccles Free School in Suffolk from a local school which was not consulted about the application and the required impact assessment was not made public. The situation is ludicrous, more reminiscent of a dictatorship than a democracy with ministers ignoring the law. At the same time we have huge cuts in public expenditure – but money for this stupidity.

JOHN BOXALL Grange Road Frome

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  • exteacher  |  June 30 2012, 10:58AM

    The combination of forcing schools to convert, the growth of Steiner schools under the academies (and 'free' school) programme, together with the number of private schools which have been allowed to convert makes it look as though Gove is less interested in giving parents choice and respecting teachers expertise as he claims, and more to do with bailing out the private sector. This is by giving government funding to failing private schools and by allowing private sector business to profit from state education. All this means that less money is going into the classrooms and more money into Gove's private vanity project. He is worse than any playground bully. The trouble is that he cannot win the intellectual argument, so he uses his metaphorical fists instead.

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