Michael Gove – 2010 Comments about Free Schools

The comments made by Michael Gove, the then Secretary of State for Education, on 18 June 2010.

The most important element of a great education is the quality of teaching and free schools will enable excellent teachers to create new schools and improve standards for all children. This government believes that passionate teachers who want to make a real difference to education should have the opportunity. That’s why I am today inviting groups to complete a proposal form and enter a process to set up new free schools.

Hundreds of groups, from teachers themselves to charities such as the Sutton Trust, have expressed an interest in starting great new schools. Just like the successful charter schools in the US, supported across the political spectrum, these schools will have the freedom to innovate and respond directly to parents’ needs. The new free schools will also be incentivised to concentrate on the poorest children by the introduction of this government’s pupil premium which will see schools receiving extra funds for educating children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

In this country, too often the poorest children are left with the worst education while richer families can buy their way to quality education via private schools or expensive houses. By allowing new schools we will give all children access to the kind of education only the rich can afford – small schools with small class sizes, great teaching and strong discipline.