DfE defeated in FOI case over free schools

Well done the NUT for winning a long-running case against the DfE. They have finally succeeding in getting the DfE to release the ‘impact statements’ required for all the ‘free schools’ that have opened. You can view the first wave at http://www.gov.uk/government/publications/request-for-impact-assessments-for-wave-1-approved-free-schools

I think we’re entitled to ask what they’re afraid of. This government set up the rules so you can be sure they’re pretty soft. Proposed ‘free schools’ are supposed to demonstrate need or parental demand, and to show how the new school would impact on others in the area. However, all the evidence is produced by the group proposing the new school so pretty easy to ‘fudge it’. Crucially, the NUT have secured access to the documents only AFTER the school has opened, so no chance to use the information to argue against a proposed new school and no point in arguing retrospectively. Still, a useful victory.

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