"It is deeply concerning that 20% of families failed to gain a place at their first preference school as demonstrated in this report. It is an injustice that in many parts of the country, parents have no option other than to send their children to schools that are not good enough. Children only have one chance at an education and they must be able to have the best possible.
Free school news
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Michaela Community School celebrates its first GCSE results today. The school opened in Wembley in 2014 and was rated Outstanding in 2017 and has an about average number of disadvantaged pupils. Michaela's first cohort has a lot to be proud of:
Last year, King's Maths School was ranked number two in The Times league table – the only state school in the top 10 – with an incredible 88% of students achieving AAB with 2 facilitating subjects and an average point score of 53.35.
This year, another cohort of students has achieved exceptional results:
100% of grades in A Level Mathematics are A or A* grades, with 90% A* grades
Free Schools in the media
The report offers an in-depth exploration of the history and options for the future of the free school policy, recommending a number of innovative steps to reenergise the policy, including changes to the application criteria, ways to lower the cost of new free schools and an expanded role for New Schools Network.
Unity Howard, Director of NSN, said:
Watching schoolchildren the world over demand that world leaders take action against the climate crisis has been inspirational. It is encouraging to know that the next generation already recognise our present trajectory is unsustainable, and that they are prepared to rise up and call for change. As vehicles for social justice, schools have a part to play in teaching children about sustainability and what individuals and communities can do to ensure that future generations inherit a habitable environment.
The Trustees are grateful for Luke’s work to date and wish him well in his future endeavours. The news comes as Secretary of State for Education, The Rt Hon Gavin Williamson MP, has indicated that free schools are one of his top three priorities for this Government.
Unity Howard, incoming Director at NSN, said:
"The widening attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers is unacceptable. The future of opportunity, social justice and pupils in school right now will depend on our ability to tackle this issue head on. We must open more high performing new free schools, in areas that have been left behind, to address these imbalances.
The Spotlight visit included many exciting activities; from learning musical instruments and performing ‘Viva la Vida’ by Coldplay with the children, to visiting one of the school farms. We even ate our lunch in a converted pub, which now functions as the school’s canteen.
While I could write pages about the tremendous extracurricular activities on offer at LHPA, I think it would be more useful to delve into one of the key aspects of the school’s curriculum: the ‘Music for All’ programme, and how it can be captured and implemented in other schools.