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NRT: Charter schools in the UK

Written By: - Date published: 10:21 am, September 21st, 2012 - 19 comments
Categories: International, schools - Tags:

From No Right Turn:

Charter schools in the UK

As everyone knows by now, thanks to ACT, our government is experimenting with charter schools, using the children of Christchurch and South Auckland as guinea pigs in their ideological experiment. That’s bad, but it could be worse – at least they’re only experimenting. In the UK, the government jumped in on this ideologically-driven policy with both feet – and the result has been a disaster. The good news is that there are very few of the new “free” schools. The bad news is that tens of millions has been wasted on failed projects already, while the successful ones have increased social and religious segregation. As in the US and Sweden, there are two primary groups wanting to establish “free’ schools: rich parents wanting to exclude the poor, and religious quacks wanting a government handout to teach creationism, bigotry, and anti-vaccination quackery (and we’re seeing the same trend here). Neither has any sort of place in a state-funded education system.


19 comments on “NRT: Charter schools in the UK”

  1. Richard 1

    The Guardian article doesn’t actually give any evidence at all that the schools are bad, and instead just speculates (since it doesn’t have actual hard data) that the UK implementation may be expensive, that they aren’t big enough, and that middle-class people might disproportionately use them.

    But I guess the headline of an opinion column was enough “research” for NRT/The Standard. Yawn.

    • Dr Terry 1.1

      Richard, do you not admire such credible speculation? Remember that the giant intellect behind Charter Schools for NZ is that of John Banks!

    • Carol 1.2

      just speculates (since it doesn’t have actual hard data) that the UK implementation may be expensive, that they aren’t big enough, and that middle-class people might disproportionately use them.

      Actually the article provides several links to evidence supporting those claims, and quotes some of the UK official statistics – like that there is a smaller proportion of children in charter schools on free school meals than in public schools generally.

      e.g. this is one of the links:


    • ianmac 1.3

      Perhaps Richard might publish data that will show just how successful the “Free” schools are. Otherwise I might start to wonder what his motives for denial are.

    • mike e 1.4

      Richard cranium this policy is being pushed by the same failed ideology by Gove who without any decent research has upended the UK’s education system for their profit driven masters!
      They brought Michelle Lee from the US to front a campaign to undermine state run schools the Data she put forward was just pure propaganda and lies.
      That is the basis of their reforms Michael Gove is one of the most despised people in England.
      He is taking their education system back to the 1800’s.
      National and hik town parianha are following like lemmings!

  2. captain hook 2

    everyone knows that charter schools are toys for rich nincompoops who think they know everything because they arre rich.
    its the same the whole world over.

  3. Dv 3

    There seems to be a very large effort and cost to get a ” couple ” of charter schools.

  4. captain hook 4

    well they want to prove that they are intelligent too.

  5. CC 5

    Given that the CEO of the education Ministry was involved in the UK Charter Schools policy development and has already presided over a string of gaffs in NZ that have compromised the Government and Minister of Education, we can probably look forward to on-going stuff-ups with the Christchurch and South Auckland “experiments”. God help the kids!!!!

    • BernyD 5.1

      So true, a randomly selected “Stolen Propoganda come Direction” experiment.
      The kids lives: Meaningless until the expirement is over.
      Ultimate Outcome: Can’t say until it’s over , i.e pending
      Implementation: Haphazard, Undocumented, Signed (Cause I have to)
      Gaurantees of success: Those kids’ lives of course , if they survive this they’re “Qualified M8!”
      Where’s my blindfold, I’ve got documents to sign, hold my hand for me will ya, haven’t got all day.
      Have you picked up the earplugs yet?, I’m gonna be busy M8

  6. CJ 6

    First of all “free” schools are only a policy in England. Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland all have separate education systems. Scotland and Wales abandoned the equivalent of “National Standards” and the consequent league tables years ago. These were Labour policies in Britain, not Tory.

    Secondly, unfortunately for us former Labour supporters the charter school idea was also enthusiastically taken up by Blair’s government in England, but they were called “academies” – don’t think this is a party political thing for our English children.

    Back under Blair and Brown Reg Vardy, used car dealer and evangelical Christian set up charter schools in the NE of England – He is one of the more “famous” cases.

    This policy isn’t new, just being given a big push by Gove.

    Given that there’s quite a few years of this type of policy having been implemented in England where is National’s evidence that they have done any good for English school children?

    • RJL 6.1

      These were Labour policies in Britain, not Tory.

      So? The problems with Charter Schools is not whether or not they happen to be proposed by Labour or National.

      The problem is that Charter Schools are bad ideas, not the party supporting them.

      • CJ 6.1.1

        Totally agree – I’m not sure why I posted quite in that way, other than to point out the decade long history of them in England with negligible to no evidence of any “benefits’ accruing.

    • Rich 6.2

      Uk Labour isn’t a left wing party and hasn’t been since it was hijacked by Blair and his mates.

      • CJ 6.2.1

        Totally agree – I haven’t been a supporter since 1994 for that very reason. They did, however, tr to sell themselves as such, and while they’re in opposition they “appear” to be in opposition to free schools – despite their decade long support of the same ideology while in power.

  7. CJ 7

    I didn’t realise that the Labour project to take schools out of local authority control and put them in the hands of whoever had enough money to buy their way into teaching went back this far!

    Here’s a story from 2002 about the Reg Vardy school: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2002/mar/09/schools.religion

    You would think that after nearly 10 years we’d have some kind of solid evidence on the outcomes that National could use? Given, however, these reforms to education in England were just as ideologically driven for Labour as for the Tories and National I can see why there’s no readily available evidence.

  8. captain hook 8

    charter schools are a contrivance by unintelligent people who want to prove to the world tha tthey are.
    Just because they have money does not make them intelligent.
    basically they are just buggering up the education system because they are resentful and most of all because they can!

  9. Georgecom 9

    So the Government wants to prioritise raising student achievement levels. It thinks Charter Schools are the way to do this. It will throw millions into a policy which has made no difference overseas. It will throw tens of millions into a hastily designed and shambolicly implemented National Standards policy.

    It will however let a programme that is proven to lift maori student achievement levels, Te Kotahitanga, fall over for lack of funding.
    The programme is successful, delivers exactly what the Government claims it wants, but cannot get funding. Maybe Key should scrap Charter Schools and put the money into an existing success story.

    If John Banks kicks up a fuss, sack him. 2 failures dealt with in one hit.

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