The Government has made a commitment to opening at least another 500 new free schools in England by 2020.

ROTA is keen to keep pressing Government to put in place measures that support free schools to comply with equality legislation (Equality Act 2010) and Public Sector Equality Duties. We know that many existing free schools are failing to do this. This situation should not develop further.

We have identified forty four newly-elected MPs who have been appointed to Select Committees on Education, Children, Schools & Families or Women & Equalities, or who have particular interests in education, equality of opportunity, disadvantage or discrimination.  We have emailed these new MPs to tell them about ROTA’s research on free schools and equality.

We are asking the MPs for their support in bringing the research to the attention of colleagues who are in a position to influence education policy and legislation. We are also asking them to help ensure that equality legislation, including current Human Rights legislation, does not get watered down.

ROTA aims to present our research findings on free schools and equality to the MPs at any relevant committees or groups with which they are associated. We want to highlight the importance of equality in the free schools programme and to ensure that future education policy will reflect this, for example in the work of the Department of Education, the New Schools Network, Ofsted and the Regional Schools Commissioners.

Eleanor Stokes, ROTA. October 20th 2015