Tories offer charter status to all schools

Britain’s new Tory-Liberal Democrat government wants to liberate schools from the control of local councils. Independently run public schools known as “academies” will be “the norm” in Britain, says Michael Gove, the new Tory education minister. Under a proposed bill, all schools will be allowed to apply for academy status.

The Tories also plan to make school heads accountable for students’ achievement and for “closing the gap between rich and poor pupils,” reports the Daily Mail. The curriculum will be “slimmed down” and teachers and heads will get “more powers to tackle bullying and bad behaviour.”

Extra funding will follow low-income students to whatever school they choose to attend.

Under another bill, parents and nonprofit groups will be able to set up tax-funded “free schools.” However, religious fundamentalists and others with a “dark agenda” will be screened out, Gove says.

As Education Gadfly puts it, the academies are like conversion charters in the U.S. and the free schools resemble start-up charters.

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