This is the season of anxiety for many parents of young children. Although we are only a few months away from the start of the next school year, the scramble for primary school places is still gathering pace, particularly in inner city areas. According to a recent report, London urgently needs 2,250 extra primary school places, projected to rise to 5,000 next year, and over 18,000 by 2014.
If ever there was a time for a radical solution to this bottleneck, surely it is now.
As James Crabtree and Katherine Quarmby argued in the April issue of Prospect, one answer is to empower the parents themselves, and allow them to open schools of their own within the state system. The precedents in the US home schooling movement, and even in parts of Britain itself, are encouraging.
Is parent power the solution to the national shortage of school places? Or can the system somehow be made to fix itself? Let us know your thoughts below.