Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, says free schools lack transparency and will undermine communities:
"As any young person starts at a new school one would wish them well and want them to be given every opportunity to achieve their full potential. In the NUT we believe that the evidence of the recent GCSE and A-Level results shows that our existing schools are doing very well and have shown improving results year on year.
"Free schools, like academies, will offer less transparency and undermine community cohesion. They are not required to employ qualified teachers and are not accountable to democratically elected local authorities despite being funded by the tax payer. This ideologically-driven experiment is hard to justify at a time of school budget cuts in addition to the loss of vital local authority services for SEN pupils, the squeeze on libraries and Sure Start amongst others.
"Talk of 'state monopoly' shows that the government fundamentally misunderstands the need for coherence in the education service. Put simply, free schools are the very opposite of localism.
"We need a good local school for every child and for every community, not the educational 'free for all' of free schools."
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