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The Manchester Evening News reports that a group running a Sure Start centre in Manchester are coming up with a proposal for a free school. If successful the primary school would open next year starting with a reception class.

Head of Longsight Children’s Centre Emma Perry said:

“We started talking to parents and families about a free school and the response was amazing. Since then we’ve worked with parents to come up with a vision for the school.”

The free school would be a natural fit with this Sure Start Children’s Centre, which is owned by non-profit making Big Life Company.

Tayyaba Javed, a 42-year-old mother to Hamza, 17, and Amaan, four, is among a group of local parents helping with the project.

She says:

“Most of the parents who have heard about the idea for the free school have been really interested. For me, it’s been really exciting to have been involved in all the decision-making about what the school would be like.” 

At the launch of his local election campaign on Monday the Labour leader Ed Miliband heralded the u-turn by Labour-run Manchester City Council not to close Sure Start Centres. Will he back this ambition of one of the centres to expand choice and opportunity? Or does he think the local parents are getting ideas above their station?