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Displaying items by tag: Wye

Wednesday, 09 January 2013 23:13

Wye Free School Debacle

A new Free School in Wye, catering for secondary school pupils, was approved in principle by the Department for Education back in July. The Department of Education and United Learning, the Academy Group which has taken over the development of the Free School, have now destroyed the rationale for its existence. The proposal for a Free School was based on a vision that saw a College in the centre of the village, founded in 1447 for training the priesthood and which had served as an educational institution almost continuously since that date until 2009, be resurrected to serve the children of Wye.

By all reports, Imperial College who owned the premises, was sympathetic to the project which was to be run by United Learning, a charity already running 20 academies and 11 private schools, including Ashford School.  One can catch a flavour of United Learning in an analysis by the admittedly critical Anti-Academies Alliance, here. I see no flavour of any appreciation of heritage here, and can do no better than quote excerpts from the excellent response by Wye and Hinxhill Parish Council to United Learning's consultation document.......

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Kent's three new secondary Free Schools, Hadlow Rural Community School, Sevenoaks Christian School and Wye Free School are all accepting applications for September 2013, and places will be offered independently from the KCC process for admission in 2013. This means that parents may apply to the Free Schools as well as completing the Kent Secondary admission form which allows up to four maintained schools to be named, with confidence that neither application will be harmed by the other. Schools will not be told if children have received a second offer elsewhere, so that such children will receive two offers on March 1st if they qualify for a place at one of the free schools.

I anticipate that this additional opportunity will encourage many double applications, so that the new schools may be swamped, and some of those offered places may well not be serious candidates. The down side of this is that of course 240 Kent children will be holding two offers in March 2013, when offers are made; and schools will have no idea which way those 240 children will go.........

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