James Forsyth

Exceeding expectations

Exceeding expectations
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Today’s Guardian has an interesting story on the success of the New School Network, an organisation set up to get parents’ to take up the opportunities offered by the Tories’ planned school reform. The Guardian reports that 200 parents groups and 100 groups of teachers are interested in setting up schools.

I suspect that take up of the Tories new schools will exceed expectations. One person involved with the New Schools Network told me recently that they would judge the policy a failure if it did not lead to the creation of a 1,000 new schools in the first two years.

From a political perspective, the problem for the Tories is that the nature of the scheme means that the Tories can’t pledge a new school in every constituency even though their plans will almost certainly lead to that. As one Tory strategist put it to me recently, their school reforms will be more useful in trying to win re-election than election.