Local government

Dear Gavin Williamson, outsourcing excluded pupils to new free schools won’t help | Michael Rosen | Education

I see you will be “pushing for something that isn’t often the focus of dinner party debate”: alternative provision, especially for children who have been or are at risk of being expelled from mainstream schools. Your solution for this is a “new wave” of free schools. As I write, I’m aware you’re not in a position to “push” for anything because parliament isn’t sitting and you are part of a minority government. I’m also not sure what dinner parties have…

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School bus cost-cutting splits villages and families – and removes choice | Education

Parental choice now depends on ability to pay in some rural areas, where a new school bus policy to cut costs is splitting families and communities. Children suffering severe anxiety, parents fearing they may have to give up their jobs to drive one child to class behind a bus transporting a sibling – these images are a far cry from the happy picture of school choice successive governments have tried to project. In Suffolk, father-of-two Tristan Wood finds the stress…

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Children in need of speech and language therapy face postcode lottery | Education

Spending on speech and language therapy has fallen in many areas of the country and children in need of SLT are subject to a postcode lottery of provision because of huge disparities across England, research has found. The study by the children’s commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, says that too many vulnerable young children are missing out on vital support in their earliest years, with far-reaching implications for their progress and life chances. It is the first time data has…

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