Warning bell sounded over new Free Schools

March 13, 2015

The Accord Coalition has urged for greater oversight of Free Schools following the set speech on Monday by the Prime Minister, announcing that a future Conservative Government would open 500 more of the schools.

Chair of the Accord Coalition, Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain, said ‘New schools must not create religious and social silos, but prepare pupils for life in a diverse society. This can be ensured by guaranteeing for pupils access to an education about the broad range of beliefs in society and removing the ability of new faith schools to discriminate by faith. If we do not want society to be fragmented and inward looking then our schools must also not be.’

Accord has consistently warned of risks presented by the Free Schools programme in terms of facilitating greater segregation in the school system and more narrow teaching, thus impacting upon community cohesion. It argues that that as schools have gained more autonomy, and as new education providers have entered the state funded sector, so there should be greater, rather than less safeguards offered, to ensure freedoms are not misused.

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