Plans for Hackney’s first “free” primary school provokes debate

6 Dec , 2013  


The first “free” school in Hackney will soon have a little sister school, but not all parents are happy about it.

Plans for a free primary school to accompany Hackney New School, one of the borough’s first free schools, which opened in September, are underway, with a petition ready to send to the Department for Education in January.

The third of three open evenings discussing the new school was held last Saturday, with more events for interested parents planned for December.

James Clements, the headteacher designate, said: “We are a passionate group of parents and teachers who have already set up a secondary school – we now hope this will be a feeder school.”

Some parents have raised concerns that another free school will detract pupils and resources from locally-maintained schools.

Madeleine Davis, a Hackney parent, said: “All parents want the best education for their kids and the glossy marketing pitch of the Hackney New Primary may seem appealing. But if you actually look into it, you find out that the evidence from similar schools in Sweden and the US shows that they do not improve standards and that they increase social division.”

The school hopes to take its first intake of 50 reception children in September 2015.

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