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In praise of the plan for Woodpecker Free School

by Paul Goodman

To Andy Burnham, the Shadow Education Secretary, Free Schools are "elitism".

But to Patricia Sowter, the head teacher of the Cuckoo Hall academy in Edmonton, the chance to "use its start up another new school" in "an area with very high levels of disadvantage" will help to "narrow the gaps for those children who are poorer and all behind from a very early age".

Watch her speak in the video below.

Today the Government held the first ever Free Schools Conference with over 400 teachers, parents and charities all wanting to start new schools.  Speakers included Mike Feinberg, the co-founder of the Knowledge is Power Programme (KIPP) charter schools which have turned around the life chances of the poorest children in some of the most deprived areas of the United States.


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