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Survey shows support for Free Schools

The National Union of Teachers have paid for a YouGov survey on Free Schools in areas where a Free School is planned. The poll was held in the 22 local authority areas where the first 25 new free schools are due to open in September.

As the NUT were allowed to choose the questions to ask they must have hoped the survey would show opposition to Free Schools. But the exercise backfired.

When asked if there was a need for a new school in the area 47% said there was, compared to 46% who said there wasn't.

While 25% agreed: "Schools can only be accountable to the local community by being part of the local authority family of schools." There were 26% who agreed: "Schools can be accountable to the local community without the local council being involved." Furthermore only 48% thought schools should be accountable to the local community in any case.

32% thought parental demand should be the key point in determining the setting up of a new school - against 14% who thought the support of the local council was the key point.

Some argue that even if the Free Schools will have high standards but that they will be detrimental to other schools. The survey asked:

What impact do you think such a school may have on other schools in your area?

14% think "it will depress standards" but 20% think it "will raise standards."

Toby Young has more here.


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