Back in January I visited the website of the Nottingham Free School to see if there was any progress on the announcement of an actual site, and I spotted a tab entitled ‘Consultation’. It turns out they had to complete a ‘statutory consultation’ in order to ‘tick a box’ for the DfE and thus secure a ‘funding agreement’. At the time I assumed this was a paper exercise: a ‘consultation’ hidden on their own site (who but one of their supporters or obsessives like me would be looking at their site?), a ‘consultation period’ that spanned the Christmas vacation and which, I assumed, supporters, friends and family members, would be directed to so that the figures could look impressive.
They have now published the figures and it looks like I was wrong: 23 people agree that the school is needed in the area, and 13 disagree! The figures for some of the questions vary slightly, since some of them are blandly asking things like, ‘Do you support our policy of only employing qualified teachers?’ but evidently no more than 36 people responded, of whom more than a third were actually opposed. So, presuming they have HAD to publish this material, and send it to Lord Nash for approval, what’s the response?
I intend to write to Lord Nash and ask him whether he thinks this consultation has been rigorous enough (good word, ‘rigorous’) and, if so, whether the figures justify his signing a funding agreement with Torch and thus committing large chunks of my money to it.
I’ll let you know if I receive a reply and what it says.