A right-wing think-tank will this week launch a national chain of cut-price primary schools in a drive to open up private education to middle-income families.
The first New Model School will start work in September, charging less than half the average fees of many independent primary or “pre-prep” schools.
Teachers have already been appointed, and tomorrow the school starts advertising for pupils to join the inaugural class of five-year-olds.
So what are these people trying to accomplish?
The New Model School Company aims to establish a chain of local schools, each subscribing to the same ethos and curriculum. A New Model School can be created wherever there are enough interested parents to start one. Organisational structure and support will be provided by the New Model School Company. Curriculum materials will be developed by its sister organisation, the New Model Curriculum Company.
And who are they?
The individuals who have formed the New Model School Company were brought together by the social policy think-tank Civitas (www.civitas.org.uk). Our aim is not just to set up a single successful school, but to provide a model of excellent and affordable schools which will improve the lives of many children and their families.
Our ambitions for the school are far wider than success in exams. The final aim of education is the formation of strong moral character, good manners, and the development of well-informed judgement. Good citizenship is not a subject of the school curriculum, but an aspect of conduct and behaviour that arises from a knowledge of the foundations of the culture, its history, values, and institutions.
If you would like to know more about us, you can telephone Matthew Faulkner on 020 8969 0037.
Because of my continuing interest in such matters, I plan to stay continuously interested in this venture, and will certainly be phoning that number myself in due course. But I think I wlll wait a while before doing that, because something tells me that this guy’s phone will be ringing fit to burst for the next few days.
I especially like that it is being set up by a “right wing think tank”. The idea of saying that was presumably to discredit the whole venture, as, maybe, is the slightly derogatory expression “cut-price”. (like there is something wrong with that). The more likely effect will be to make all “right wing think tanks” look better, if this is the kind of thing they do.
Also, by branding these places “right wing”, the Indy will scare lefties away from teaching in these places, and the political tone of them will undoubtedly be more free market in orientation than your average school. When these people talk about “history, values and institutions” that is not merely code for higher taxation and caving in to public sector trade unions.
I love it, and will almost certain have more to say here about this in the future. I really hope it works.