Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Charity says schools should be allowed to opt-out of council control

"PARENTS across Scotland should be given the right to set up community schools outside council control, according to a new charitable trust."

"The Hometown Foundation said recent international comparisons showed Scottish education was no longer a world leader and called for alternative ways of delivering it."

"The Scottish Government already funds several schools which are not run by local authorities including Jordanhill, in the west end of Glasgow, and a number of specialist schools."

"However, the move would be highly controversial because a previous attempt to allow schools to opt-out by the Conservatives was seen as an attempt to undermine the power of councils."
"The issue has come to the fore because First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is currently looking at proposals for a community school drawn up by families from East Dunbartonshire after the council decided to close St Joseph`s Primary School, in Milngavie, last year."

Is this an example of the well tried formula: set up a charitable trust, have them say `this is what parents want`, then begin to sneak the policy through?
Reading, maths and science: Decline between 2000 and 2012 (OECD)

Before that is allowed to happen, there are important lessons coming from Sweden where there has been a general decline in standards and a widening of the education attainment gap.
Observers in the UK may well be vexed upon reading about Swedens problems, since its friskolor policy privately run schools funded by public money was one of the key inspirations behind the introduction of free schools in England under the coalition government...
In the most recent Pisa assessment, in 2012, Swedens 15-year-olds ranked 28th out of 34 OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries in maths, and 27th in both reading and science, significantly below their Nordic neighbours.
Morale among teachers is low, there are concerns about unqualified teaching staff, discipline in some schools is poor and according to a damning  report published by the OECD last month, the system is in need of "urgent change".

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