Tristram blames Dave for ‘free schools’ failure

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GindonHallChristianSchoolNow it’s becoming personal. When the second north east free school in a number of days was placed in special measures, Tristram Hunt blamed the fiasco on David Cameron himself.

‘David Cameron’s failing free school programme is damaging school standards – too many are failing their Ofsted inspections, one third have employed unqualified teachers and a complete lack of local oversight is allowing underperformance in these schools to go unchecked for far too long.

Labour would end the flawed free schools programme and reverse Cameron’s decision to allow unqualified teachers in our schools.’

 The report by Ofsted on Grindon Hall Christian School in Sunderland was pretty damning. ‘Staff have been employed based on personal connections to existing members of staff or acquaintances from previous schools. In such cases, there has been no effort to secure suitable references about the quality of their work,” the report said.

Some pupils told inspectors they did not feel safe at the school and had little confidence in the school’s handling of bullying, while inspectors saw younger pupils left unsupervised during breaks.

‘[The] use of use of derogatory language relating to race or sexual orientation persists because the curriculum does not teach pupils about equality, diversity and the need to be tolerant and respectful towards those who are different to themselves,’ the inspectors reported.

Once again the entire ‘free school’ project has been thrown into question and the sooner it ends the better it will be for all our young people.

One comment

  1. I note that in the House of Commons discussion of education issues on Monday Barry Sheerman raised the issue of faith schools

    Mr Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield) (Lab/Co-op): Does the Secretary of State agree with me and the overwhelming majority of my constituents who think that the healthiest pattern for this country, its communities and society is for kids to go to school together? Is she not worried by the proliferation of faith schools in our country, in which children learn only in the shadow of their faith?

    Nicky Morgan: As I said earlier, I strongly support faith and Church schools in this country. They offer an excellent education, but the Government have already made moves to ensure that all schools have to teach a broad and balanced curriculum, which many, if not all—almost all—faith and Church schools already do. There is the importance of teaching values of mutual respect and tolerance of others with other faiths and beliefs. If that is not happening, we will not hesitate first of all to inspect and then to take further action.

    The problem is that Barry Sheerman’s questioning does not represent the stance of the Labour Party which is as strongly in favour of developing the faith school sector as the Conservative Party (if not more so).


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