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The free schools programme is not serving the purpose for which it was designed

The promised radical shake-up of the school system has not materialised

By Rebecca Montacute  

Michael Gove was Education Secretary from 2010 to 2014. Photo: Tim Goode/EMPICS Entertainment

When free schools were introduced by the coalition government, then Education Secretary Michael Gove promoted the programme as a way to bring innovation into schools. In 2011, he commented that “innovation, diversity and flexibility are at the heart of the free schools’ policy. We want the dynamism that characterises the best independent schools to help drive up standards in the state sector.” The coalition government argued that innovation and diversity in schools would increase the competition…

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