Saturday 9 March 2013

Kilburn Times opposes privatisation of Brent education

Kilburn Times March 7th 2013

It was good to see the Kilburn Times focusing on the issue of privatisation of our schools on this week's front page.  Even more welcome was their editorial:


This week education hit the headlines again as the Times reports on the startling number of free schools and academies in Wembley.

The government's education policy says that any group of individuals can set up a free school and subsequently set their own admissions policy and run their own curriculum.

Provided they get enough support from enough parents, a school can effectively pop up anywhere it likes, regardless of local provision.

This is exactly the situation currently unfolding in Wembley with two proposed free schools just a stone's throw from each other seeking to open their doors.


Meanwhile less than a mile away the former (Brent) Town Hall site will be converted into an independent school.

Including the schools already in the area, one of which has chosen to adopt academy status, this could effectively result in five privately-run secondary schools all within a mile of each other.

With the increased funding they will get and their own unique way of running operations, the danger is that they will detract from the remaining (local) authority-run schools.

Brent Council has said it has no control over whether free schools and academies are built, but has told us it will work with those looking to set up schools to ensure the best outcome for parents, teachers and schools.

We hope this is the case and that education can still have a local voice and will not go the same way as the National Health Service, towards inevitable privatisation.

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