A free school is planned for Rotherham.
The Three Valleys Independent Academy says:
The intention is to build the best school in South Yorkshire – one where local pupils will be able to experience the very best traditions of private education in a publicly-funded school. This innovative
development by the present government is designed to bring together the best traditions of previous generations – Grammar schools, public schools, and the top-performing comprehensive schools – and make them available to a whole new generation of pupils. Insistance will be placed on the highest standards of learning, teaching, and behaviour at all times, and we are already exploring the recruitment of teachers of the highest standards of qualifications and experience to join the Headship Team.
Naturally the local Labour MP and Shadow Cabinet member John healey is horrified by this proposal for higher standards and increased choice. He says:
"Michael Gove seems determined to drive through these schools whether or not there is a strong case for doing so and what the effect could be on local schools.
"In fact Mr Gove told me that a free school application would not be rejected because there are surplus places in other local schools – even though a new school would be likely to exacerbate this problem and mean more schools having to make tough choices like cutting teachers."
The impact on local schools will be one of greater competition. This will mean they will have to improve or close. That is the "tough choice" they will face. Is John Healey saying that bad schools should be able to continue? Would he argue against the opening of a new restaurant on the grounds that existing restaurants already have "surplus places" and that they might be in trouble as the food they serve isn't very good? Or does he believe schools are less important than restaurants.