A think-tank report said that the rapid spread of academies and free schools had created a more fragmented school system in England, with particular issues arising regarding commissioning and monitoring. The report called for locally appointed schools commissioners at the city- and county-regional level to be responsible for commissioning and educational standards in their areas.
Source: Rick Muir with Jonathan Clifton, Whole System Reform: England's schools and the middle tier, Institute for Public Policy Research
A report by a committee of MPs said that only 19 per cent of projected secondary school places in the free schools opened so far were in areas that had forecast a high or severe need for extra places. The committee recommended greater openness in decision-making about free schools, raised concerns over standards of governance in some cases, and said there was a need for improvements in monitoring procedures and for tighter control of costs.
Source: Establishing Free Schools, Fifty-sixth Report (Session 201314), HC 941, House of Commons Public Accounts Select Committee, TSO
A new book examined ethical and philosophical issues regarding market-led alternative education (such as Free Schools, Studio Schools, Supplementary Schools and Co-operative Schools), and the mediation of power within alternative models of provision. Drawing on case studies, it considered the practicalities of working within such models, and whether a market-based approach was effective in raising standards for all.
Source: Ornette Clennon, Alternative Education and Community Engagement: Making education a priority, Palgrave Macmillan
The government began consultation on proposals to change the rules governing the constitution of governing bodies of maintained schools in England. The consultation document said the changes aimed to: ensure a single consistent approach across all maintained schools; and to ensure that governing bodies' primary consideration in decisions about their constitution and membership would be to provide the skills that they required to be effective. The consultation would close on 14 March 2014.
Source: Constitution of Governing Bodies of Maintained Schools: Proposed changes to regulations, Department for Education