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Free school ‘no social experiment’

Date published: 22 January 2014

PHOENIX Free School, which will open in Fitton Hill in September, “is not a social experiment,” according to project leader Affan Burki.

Prospective pupils and parents and a group of local residents attended a meeting last night to find out more about the school, which was given the go-ahead by the Government in May.

Mr Burki told the 30-strong gathering at Hill Top Medical Centre — close to where the school is set to open — “Our whole approach is proven and tested.”

Most of its teachers and instructors will be former military personnel. But Mr Burki, who recently resigned his commission in the Royal Corps of Signals to concentrate on the project, said: “We are not a military school. The playground will not be a parade square and we will not be a recruiting ground for the Armed Forces.”

But the school will embody Army values of discipline, respect for others, integrity, loyalty and selfless commitment, he confirmed.

“The Army, Navy and Royal Air Force are more than just a job. They are a lifestyle and we would like to pass that on,” added Mr Burki.

Free Schools are state-funded but free from local authority control.

Optional subjects will be offered as extra-curricular activities. Mr Burki also stressed that parents would be expected to get involved.

“I want you to actively contribute to the school. If you are not willing to do that, I suggest you find another school,” he said. “I am not talking financially. If you have a talent, come and spend some time at the school and give back to the community.”

The teachers, who each have a degree in the subject they teach, will not be required to have qualified teacher status, though most applicants do.

Kevin Gough, from Bardsley, is thinking of applying for a place at the school for his 10-year-old son Fletcher: “The thing I like is people will put a lot more effort into getting the school to run better,” he said. “Perhaps the only reservation is that it has not been done before. You do not know what hiccups you will encounter on the way.”

Comments

Sounds brilliant, lets hope it all works out.

Of course it's a social experiment.

A dangerous experiment with children's education. With no track record parents are taking a "leap of faith". Children have one chance of a good education , fingers crossed they come through this risky venture with a good experience and above average grades.

"Discipline, respect for others, integrity, loyalty and selfless commitment" are not characteristics unique to the military.

Businesses have reported that many school leavers have not been fit for work in recent years , perhaps this school will address that issue

JMTS - would you care to elaborate?
Gladys - how and why is this school a "dangerous experiment"?

Nu Labours Socialism has been a dangerous experiment with left wing indoctrination thrown in, and we now know it has been a massive failure with exams 'dumbed down' to make it look successful.
We now hear of a 'lost generation' but this is the generation which suffered under Blairs policies.
Someone needs to put it right and although there might be 'one chance of a good education' chances are it doesn't lie in the public sector.

It is a social experiment, but so what? The Labour Party's war on Grammar Schools was a social experiment too.That failed miserably whereas this school may succeed. I hope that it does.
Bringing back Grammar schools would be a better idea. A Grammar School education didn't harm the careers Michael Meacher, Diane Abbot's and 20 plus other Shadow Cabinet members. Not to mention the 10 or more privately educated ones.
Best wished to Mr Burki, his staff and the pupils that attend the school.

@ Flake.
You don't know much about Socialism if you think New Labour was a Socialist administration.

I hope this school succeed. I've interviewed school leavers for trainee jobs and far too many are churned out from the 'normal' schools with top-grade GCSEs but turn out to be completely lacking in common-sense, lazy and struggle to string two words together without grunting.

Sorry another Bob, I should have used the term 'cultural Marxism' which is much more accurate !

Whether it is a "social experiment" is debatable but it is, as all "free" schools are, an educational experiment. Would you really want to risk your child's future to an unknown, especially given the scandals surrounding other "free" schools.

Mr Burki says the methods are tried and tested: tried for unquestioning obedience but not for an education which is designed for taking the country into the economic challenges of the 21st century.

Every school is a experiment,
No matter if the teachers are good or bad the children there will learn only if they want to..
The children see it as if I leave school with good grades theres still no guarentee of a good job so mite as well do nothing and get nothing...

 

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