Responding to the announcements at the Labour Party Conference, NSN Director Unity Howard said:

"It is disappointing to see the Labour Party continue to reject the achievements of free schools. The evidence of their successes is undeniable; they are the highest performing type of state school at Key Stages One, Four and Five and are more likely to be rated Outstanding. Free schools champion social justice, with pupils who receive free school meals performing better than any other type of school and in a number of cases, disadvantaged children are outperforming their peers at Progress 8."

"The free schools policy created a mechanism for communities to respond to their own educational needs and the never ending debate over school structures is drowning out their fantastic work. Reverting back to the stagnant, bureaucratic model of before will undo the great strides these schools have made. Parents and communities need more. "

"The system must remain devolved with the schools as the key decision makers, but must be held to account to continue the drive for higher standards. The current system may not be perfect, but Ofsted’s new framework has been a step in the right direction. The proposal to abolish and replace Ofsted will only add another layer of bureaucracy, making it increasingly harder for parents to navigate the education system."

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