The free schools agenda is coming at a high price to many communities that already face educational disadvantage, says Race on the Agenda (ROTA). There are a number of worrying cases where local communities are losing out. However, due to the limited amount of information available from the Department for Education and many of the free schools themselves, we have been unable to conclude whether these early signs are an indication of more systemic and widespread issues of inequality.
It was ROTA's concern about risks that the Coalition's free schools project could make existing educational inequalities worse that led to us initiating our free schools research. Similar policy initiatives in the US and Sweden have led to ethnically and socio-economically segregated school systems in many local areas, with huge gaps in the quality of education.
To find out more, please read our latest press release which is available here.