Members of local campaign group ‘Hands Off Our Schools’ have welcomed the Department of Education decision, announced on Wednesday (22 May), not to approve the proposed Trent Bridge Free School. Secretary of the group, which campaigns against academies and free schools in the Nottingham area, Andrea Oates, said, “This is good news for the parents and children of the area. It means that public money will not be spent on starting the new school from scratch and will not take much-needed resources from other local schools. Any perceived shortfall in secondary places can easily be absorbed by those schools. However, although we welcome the TBFS decision, we are disappointed that the go-ahead has been given to the other free school proposed by the Torch Group, in Arnold/Sherwood/Mapperley.”
Chairman of HOOS, former teacher, Colin Tucker, commented: “Our research shows there is no need for another secondary school in that area. There are plenty of well-established local schools for children to go to and we are not aware of a shortage of places. The shortages in coming years will actually be in the primary sector but the government’s policy is doing little to address that issue.”
Andrea Oates added, “We will continue to oppose free schools in general, and this one in particular, as these schools are costly and have no democratic accountability. As such, they are part of a wider policy to break up and privatise the state education system.”
This was the Press Release issued by ‘Hands Off Our Schools’, the Nottingham ‘branch’ of the Anti-Academies Alliance. I’ll have more to say about some of the schools that have been approved — nationally and locally — in coming weeks.