Commenting on the Institute of Education’s report, The Social Composition of Free Schools after Three Years, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, said:
“The findings of this Report come as no surprise. The Institute of Education is not the first organisation to draw attention to these concerns. For example, this report echoes many of the findings of the Academies Commission.
“It highlights issues that the NASUWT predicted would occur when the current academies and free schools programme was conceived by the Coalition.
“There has never been any evidence that structural change raises standards, but there is a wealth of evidence to show that it can lead to social segregation.
“The NASUWT warned that the ability of free schools and academies to police their own admissions would create opportunities for selection to flourish, and it is clear from this report that this is exactly what is happening.
“Millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money is being poured into a handful of free schools. Most of these qualified for the funding on the basis they were being established in deprived areas. Yet they appear to have no real desire to serve those communities and are instead using their freedoms to exclude those local children who need the most help.
“Our children and young people deserve better.”
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