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Six Midlands groups apply for free school status

06/08/2012 Joanna
Six organisations in the Midlands have submitted applications for free school status in the area.

Free schools have been launched by the coalition government to give communities a greater role in the running of education.

The semi-state schools are created by parents, teachers, faith groups and other organisations, which draw up policies on issues including teachers’ pay, the length of the term and how each day is structured.

According to a report from the Express and Star, two of the six Midlands groups to apply for the status have been refused.

All of the applicants were based in Staffordshire and the Black Country, with Griffin’s Schools Trust and Guru Nanak Academy being turned down.

The secretary of state refused free school status to the Griffin’s Trust on the basis it that the borough did not require an all-girls’ school.

Guru Nanak Academy in Smethwick failed because it did not detail adequately the role the community would play in the running of the educational establishment.

However, there were success stories for the Anand Primary School in Wolverhampton and the Rural Enterprise Academy.

Anand Primary School will be led by the Wolverhampton Sangat Education Trust and the Rural Enterprise Academy will be established at South Staffordshire College’s Rodbaston campus.

The Express and Star revealed that there are currently 57 academies being run in Staffordshire and the Black Country, with another 28 educational institutes considering converting.

A spokesperson for the Department for Education has explained the difficult task setting up an academy can be for applicants.

“All free school applications go through an extremely vigorous process before being approved,” they said.

“Setting up a free school is not an easy task; securing a site can be particularly difficult and all groups deserve credit for the hard work that they put in at every stage of the process.”

Posted by Harriet McGowanADNFCR-2164-ID-801423238-ADNFCR
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