James Forsyth

How to set up a school

How to set up a school
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When the Tories talk about enabling any group that wants to, to set up a school and be paid by the state for every pupil they educate, it is sometimes difficult to imagine how this would work in practice. We have got used to such a top-down education system, where the state provides the schools and determines how many there are in any place, it is hard to imagine how a more organic system would work. But today the New Schools Network, a cross-party charity set up to promote the establishment of new schools, has published a proposed application form for those who want to set up a school.  The form is refreshingly straightforward and free of jargon, the Tories would be well advised to keep it this simple. The next step is to publish model applications to show groups how best to proceed.

The Gove schools agenda is the most radical and exciting domestic policy initiative the Conservatives have. But it is crucial that new schools are set up as early as possible so we can see how they raise standards across the board by providing choice and competition.