Source/Credit: The Economist
The creation of new, independently run but non-selective and state-funded “free schools” is one of the government’s central policies. Michael Gove, the Conservative education secretary, spent long years in opposition devising ways in which parental choice and competition could be used to improve England’s lacklustre schools. He borrowed from America and Sweden the idea of allowing parents, teachers and others dissatisfied with what the state offered to establish new schools beyond the reach of local authorities. Such schools would be free to vary the hours of the school day and year, what was taught in the classrooms and teachers’ pay. In contrast to his beleaguered cabinet colleague Andrew Lansley, whose long-pondered health reforms have run into the mud, Mr Gove’s policies have taken wing.