Heads back Tories’ free school plans

By politics.co.uk staff

More than 30 leading state school heads have written in support of the Tories’ plans for free schools.

The letter to the Daily Telegraph is published a day after two Conservative council chiefs appeared to criticise the party’s plans to allow parents and community groups to start their own schools.

The letter signed by 31 state headteachers says: “The Conservative party tells us that it believes that to ensure a high-quality education for all pupils, headteachers need to have control over how they run their school.

“It also says that schools should be able to set their own discipline procedures, and that, importantly, schools need to be free from local authority intervention.

“As head teachers and governors with years of experience, we know that real freedom combined with rigorous accountability is vital to raise standards.”

It concludes by saying that the heads will want to be able to claim for their own schools the freedoms they say are offered to academy schools.

It said “The Conservative party has said that if it forms the next government it will allow all schools to apply for academy-style freedoms.”

Yesterday Paul Carter, Tory leader of Kent County Council, said to the BBC that he was concerned that the Conservatives scheme would deprive local authority schools of resources, but he later issued a statement saying he backed the plans “100%”.