Where are the dividing lines on education? Part I – free schools

British Education Policy

With just over a year until the election it is worth considering exactly where the dividing lines are between the major political parties on education. Identifying them is tricky. This government has pursued an ambitious agenda, including overseeing the most significant change to the school landscape in a generation through the introduction of converter academies and free schools and a radical overhaul of the examination system. In opposition Labour has, to put it politely, picked its battles carefully. They have chosen to remain largely silent on a number of issues and instead used a couple of key themes and policies to attack the Gove agenda.

Free schools are an obvious place to start. Labour has got itself into something of a tangle over the free school programme. In part this is a legacy of their time in government. From most angles free schools and converter academies look like a logical…

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