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Walking into Wac Arts College does not feel like walking into your typical secondary school – not least because visitors are first greeted by Herbie, the school therapy dog. Students do not wear uniforms, and they address teachers by their first names. “The students at Wac Arts College did not thrive in a mainstream setting, so why try and recreate one?” says Principal, James Fornara.
"The report from the APPG on Knife Crime has shown us the shocking extent of the crisis in alternative provision (AP). It is not acceptable that one third of local authorities have no spaces in their state funded AP. We cannot allow a lack of provision to write off life chances and risk allowing vulnerable children to fall into gang violence.
"We welcome this report from the Education Select Committee, highlighting a serious shortfall in provision for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities.
Since opening in 2013 in Plymouth, Marine Academy Primary (MAP) has been amongst the highest performing schools in the country when it comes to closing the attainment gap.
Provisional GCSE results released today show that free schools are once again the highest performing school type at Progress 8, with an average score of 0.21.
This is the third year running that free schools have topped the tables.
Number of schools
"We welcome the Education Policy Institute’s latest assessment of the free schools programme which highlights the programme’s great successes, as well as its shortcomings.
"The above average performance of disadvantaged pupils in secondary free schools proves the policy's potential to transform education and raise standards for those in the greatest need.
"We agree entirely that new free schools should be targeted towards areas suffering from chronic educational underperformance and communities that have been left behind and have been calling for this for some time.
On the train between London and Norwich, we wondered: how has The Free School Norwich been able to perform so well in terms of pupil progress, being in the top 3% of schools in England in 2016 and 2018? Is there a secret formula to their success?
After talking to Tania Sidney-Roberts, Headteacher at The Free School Norwich, we saw and grasped a capital ingredient to this secret formula: working together as a community.