Two minutes after the beginning of the event, three of the four headteachers at my table told me their biggest concern was recruitment. My expertise took a hit. I understood, at once, that I had focused exclusively on mainstream teaching – though, seemingly, special schools are hit the hardest. They face the same recruitment and retention challenges as their mainstream counterparts, as well as having to deal with a unique set of additional needs.
Free School News
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The free school landscape is diverse and many projects have had interesting and rocky beginnings; EHS is no exception, opening its doors in 2015 in temporary accommodation, with year 12 and 13 split between two sites, and separated by the busy A6110 ring road south of Leeds city centre! Fast forward three years and the college has settled into a purpose-built, state of the art building with excellent new facilities.
The key point to draw from the day was the need for greater collaboration between all levels of education. Jennifer spoke about the role of free schools in raising social mobility. Free schools are set up in response to local demand and are designed to meet the specific needs of the local community, and autonomy over curriculum and teacher recruitment means free schools have the ability to tailor their teaching to specific needs of their pupil cohort.
Earlier this week, Robert Halfon MP, Chair of the Education Select Committee, branded GCSEs “pointless” and called for their abolition, suggesting a ‘holistic baccalaureate’ qualification with exams at age 18 should be introduced. His is not the only voice arguing this, with some, such as former education secretary Lord Baker, arguing that existing qualifications are now redundant due to the requirement for students to stay in education or training until 18.
The most recent application Wave, which closed in November last year, saw 124 free school groups submit applications. These explicitly targeted areas of long-term educational underperformance in addition to providing school places where they were most needed, based off a list provided by the DfE.
Basic need and low educational standards
As in Wave 13, applications need to show a basic need for a high proportion of school places that the free school will provide. Section B1 on ‘evidence of basic need’ has not changed for Wave 14.
The most recent application wave, which closed in November last year, saw 124 free school groups send in submissions. These applications were explicitly targeting areas of long-term educational underperformance in addition to providing school places where they were most needed, based off a list provided by the Department for Education (DfE).
Free Schools in the media
The scholarship is one of only a handful of global scholarships funded by Babson College annually, and will cover four years of tuition as well as financial support for accomodation, books and travel expenses. Trae will be the third LAE student in two years to attend a prestigious university in the USA, with previous leavers enrolling at Pennsylvania State and Wharton School of Business in 2018, the latter part of the prestigious Ivy League.