Labour MP John Cryer says he expects scandals to emerge from free schools

John Cryer.

John Cryer.

First published in News
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An MP has labelled the government’s free schools programme as ‘barking mad’.

John Cryer, Labour MP for Leyton and Wanstead, told local education campaign group, Our Community, Our Schools, that in the future he suspects numerous scandals involving free schools to emerge.

In the statement published on the group’s website this week Mr Cryer wrote: “The introduction of free schools removes democratic accountability and oversight from children’s education.

“There will undoubtedly be people running free schools who have the best of intentions but the scandals we have seen so far involving a number of free schools will probably prove to be the tip of the iceberg.

“The next few years will, I suspect, see a series of exposés in the media involving financial mismanagement, inappropriate teaching and inadequate staffing – all courtesy of the taxpayer.

“Incredibly, while the government cuts vital public services there are 100 civil servants working on free schools – and that’s what they admit to.

“Frankly, the government’s free schools programme is barking mad and seems to have been dreamt up by some ideologically driven obsessive somewhere in the bowels of Conservative headquarters.”

Our Community, Our Schools spokesman Jonathan White said: “This is part of a growing public backlash against the free schools experiment and we think it's time for those who have supported these schools in Waltham Forest to think again.”

The group campaigns to keep education under local authority control.

Four new free schools in Waltham Forest were given the green light last year by Education Secretary Michael Gove.

Three are expected to open this year while one has been delayed 12 months due to difficulty locating a site.

Comments (9)

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8:32pm Fri 10 Jan 14

Robert19 says...

Agree with him entirely. A poor core idea from Michael Gove pandering mainly for middle class ambitions and in order for their children not to mix with the lesser classes paid for at our expense. Ironically they are often in poor and inadequate accommodation like old factories with no playgrounds or proper amenities. Yet again with some irony, with money stolen by Gove from Building Schools for the Future. Much to the detriment of at least two local secondaries in Waltham Forest.
Many are faith schools which does nothing to help social cohesion. One in WF is an Islamic Girls School and another I believe an evangelical Christian school.
Agree with him entirely. A poor core idea from Michael Gove pandering mainly for middle class ambitions and in order for their children not to mix with the lesser classes paid for at our expense. Ironically they are often in poor and inadequate accommodation like old factories with no playgrounds or proper amenities. Yet again with some irony, with money stolen by Gove from Building Schools for the Future. Much to the detriment of at least two local secondaries in Waltham Forest. Many are faith schools which does nothing to help social cohesion. One in WF is an Islamic Girls School and another I believe an evangelical Christian school. Robert19
  • Score: 4

11:05pm Fri 10 Jan 14

NTiratsoo says...

So who is John Cryer again?
The sleeping non-beauty?
So who is John Cryer again? The sleeping non-beauty? NTiratsoo
  • Score: 0

8:58am Sat 11 Jan 14

Techno3 says...

Robert19 wrote:
Agree with him entirely. A poor core idea from Michael Gove pandering mainly for middle class ambitions and in order for their children not to mix with the lesser classes paid for at our expense. Ironically they are often in poor and inadequate accommodation like old factories with no playgrounds or proper amenities. Yet again with some irony, with money stolen by Gove from Building Schools for the Future. Much to the detriment of at least two local secondaries in Waltham Forest.
Many are faith schools which does nothing to help social cohesion. One in WF is an Islamic Girls School and another I believe an evangelical Christian school.
Heaven forfend that the middle classes should ever have any aspects of their wishes or aspirations for their children pandered to.

Far better that everyone's children areeducated to accept the status of non-aspirant 'I know my place' proles. They will be so much more complaint for their socialist masters to govern and exploit.
[quote][p][bold]Robert19[/bold] wrote: Agree with him entirely. A poor core idea from Michael Gove pandering mainly for middle class ambitions and in order for their children not to mix with the lesser classes paid for at our expense. Ironically they are often in poor and inadequate accommodation like old factories with no playgrounds or proper amenities. Yet again with some irony, with money stolen by Gove from Building Schools for the Future. Much to the detriment of at least two local secondaries in Waltham Forest. Many are faith schools which does nothing to help social cohesion. One in WF is an Islamic Girls School and another I believe an evangelical Christian school.[/p][/quote]Heaven forfend that the middle classes should ever have any aspects of their wishes or aspirations for their children pandered to. Far better that everyone's children areeducated to accept the status of non-aspirant 'I know my place' proles. They will be so much more complaint for their socialist masters to govern and exploit. Techno3
  • Score: -4

9:53am Sat 11 Jan 14

UKIP-local says...

Well, we've run schools according to the views of the left since the 1960s.

As a result the politicians themselves tell us frequently we have to have unlimited immigration because of skills shortages in our country. That can only mean the politicians failed to educate the children properly.

The left hate anything which takes control away from the centre and allows local decision making, as Free Schools would.
Well, we've run schools according to the views of the left since the 1960s. As a result the politicians themselves tell us frequently we have to have unlimited immigration because of skills shortages in our country. That can only mean the politicians failed to educate the children properly. The left hate anything which takes control away from the centre and allows local decision making, as Free Schools would. UKIP-local
  • Score: -4

8:13pm Sat 11 Jan 14

stickmanny says...

"Well, we've run schools according to the views of the left since the 1960s. "

Oh really? All those right-wing governments since must've done a pretty poor job then!

The right hate anyone who isn't rich, but anyway education should not be about right or left. That's where Gove and so many before him have got it wrong.
"Well, we've run schools according to the views of the left since the 1960s. " Oh really? All those right-wing governments since must've done a pretty poor job then! The right hate anyone who isn't rich, but anyway education should not be about right or left. That's where Gove and so many before him have got it wrong. stickmanny
  • Score: 4

2:27pm Sun 12 Jan 14

mdj says...

What a ghastly choice: schools open to being set up with public money by cranks and incompetents, cherry-picking the choicer parts of the education system - or collective strategic management at the competence level of Waltham Forest Council. (Search 'Warwick School asbestos' in this paper's archives for just one example)

If a 'free' school fails, its pupils are immediately dumped upon a public sector that has had the funding stripped away to pay for them, while the perpetrators of the mess walk away.
Readers who may have been baffled to see Barclay School building an extension for its infant intake half a mile away from where stressed parents will be trying to drop off their older children at the same time may not realise that Councils are now banned from opening new schools!

It's not too often one feels a pang of sympathy for our Council, but here is a case where coherent planning is being made impossible by rules made by people whose own children are safely miles away from the front line.
What a ghastly choice: schools open to being set up with public money by cranks and incompetents, cherry-picking the choicer parts of the education system - or collective strategic management at the competence level of Waltham Forest Council. (Search 'Warwick School asbestos' in this paper's archives for just one example) If a 'free' school fails, its pupils are immediately dumped upon a public sector that has had the funding stripped away to pay for them, while the perpetrators of the mess walk away. Readers who may have been baffled to see Barclay School building an extension for its infant intake half a mile away from where stressed parents will be trying to drop off their older children at the same time may not realise that Councils are now banned from opening new schools! It's not too often one feels a pang of sympathy for our Council, but here is a case where coherent planning is being made impossible by rules made by people whose own children are safely miles away from the front line. mdj
  • Score: 2

7:22pm Sun 12 Jan 14

Robert19 says...

Techno3 wrote:
Robert19 wrote:
Agree with him entirely. A poor core idea from Michael Gove pandering mainly for middle class ambitions and in order for their children not to mix with the lesser classes paid for at our expense. Ironically they are often in poor and inadequate accommodation like old factories with no playgrounds or proper amenities. Yet again with some irony, with money stolen by Gove from Building Schools for the Future. Much to the detriment of at least two local secondaries in Waltham Forest.
Many are faith schools which does nothing to help social cohesion. One in WF is an Islamic Girls School and another I believe an evangelical Christian school.
Heaven forfend that the middle classes should ever have any aspects of their wishes or aspirations for their children pandered to.

Far better that everyone's children areeducated to accept the status of non-aspirant 'I know my place' proles. They will be so much more complaint for their socialist masters to govern and exploit.
You seriously misinterpret what I said. . I strongly believe that a school with representation of all talents, and reflective of the local community is the best way to educate children individually and encourage social cohesion. Dividing them by religion, class or gender leads to a disunited community and lack of opportunity for many.

You and others also peddle a myth that education has deteriorated. So what do you suggest? Secondary moderns for the 'failures' or free schools mainly for the middle classes? Effectively the old tripartite education system wrote off two thirds of children at 11.

Now instead of a coherent locally planned educational network we have dubious free schools dumped upon us with no local input other than a flawed consultation after the school has been approved by Gove. Be careful what you wish for.
PS Hopefully the proles will be more complaint - a good idea!
[quote][p][bold]Techno3[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Robert19[/bold] wrote: Agree with him entirely. A poor core idea from Michael Gove pandering mainly for middle class ambitions and in order for their children not to mix with the lesser classes paid for at our expense. Ironically they are often in poor and inadequate accommodation like old factories with no playgrounds or proper amenities. Yet again with some irony, with money stolen by Gove from Building Schools for the Future. Much to the detriment of at least two local secondaries in Waltham Forest. Many are faith schools which does nothing to help social cohesion. One in WF is an Islamic Girls School and another I believe an evangelical Christian school.[/p][/quote]Heaven forfend that the middle classes should ever have any aspects of their wishes or aspirations for their children pandered to. Far better that everyone's children areeducated to accept the status of non-aspirant 'I know my place' proles. They will be so much more complaint for their socialist masters to govern and exploit.[/p][/quote]You seriously misinterpret what I said. . I strongly believe that a school with representation of all talents, and reflective of the local community is the best way to educate children individually and encourage social cohesion. Dividing them by religion, class or gender leads to a disunited community and lack of opportunity for many. You and others also peddle a myth that education has deteriorated. So what do you suggest? Secondary moderns for the 'failures' or free schools mainly for the middle classes? Effectively the old tripartite education system wrote off two thirds of children at 11. Now instead of a coherent locally planned educational network we have dubious free schools dumped upon us with no local input other than a flawed consultation after the school has been approved by Gove. Be careful what you wish for. PS Hopefully the proles will be more complaint - a good idea! Robert19
  • Score: 4

8:42pm Sun 12 Jan 14

mdj says...

'Effectively the old tripartite education system wrote off two thirds of children at 11.'

It's surprising how many of those who hark back to the golden years of grammar schools post-war don't realise that their children would never have been inside them.
Quite apart from the division, the insane equation of academic with intelligent has done this country untold harm to people's attitudes, life choices and expectations.
This country's greatest inventions and its most extraordinary businesses were the work of people who went nowhere near a university.
'Effectively the old tripartite education system wrote off two thirds of children at 11.' It's surprising how many of those who hark back to the golden years of grammar schools post-war don't realise that their children would never have been inside them. Quite apart from the division, the insane equation of academic with intelligent has done this country untold harm to people's attitudes, life choices and expectations. This country's greatest inventions and its most extraordinary businesses were the work of people who went nowhere near a university. mdj
  • Score: 3

3:44pm Mon 13 Jan 14

Robert19 says...

Too true mdj. The whole system was flawed. Most grammar schools were single sex and boys' schools had great difficulty in getting sufficient number of pupils so they relaxed the pass mark for boys. It is reckoned that there was an 18% error rate in the 11+ exam. Why are or were there so many Welsh teachers? Answer 40% of Welsh children went to a grammar school, in England 25%. There were good teachers attracted to secondary moderns on principled or political reasons but most went to the grammar schools.
And they were divisive. Just like what is happening now but in a different structure. At least you could say that it was a system. Now we have anarchy. One of the proposed new free schools in Waltham Forest , Christian based, runs over 40 schools all around the country. How can they be accountable to local communities?
Too true mdj. The whole system was flawed. Most grammar schools were single sex and boys' schools had great difficulty in getting sufficient number of pupils so they relaxed the pass mark for boys. It is reckoned that there was an 18% error rate in the 11+ exam. Why are or were there so many Welsh teachers? Answer 40% of Welsh children went to a grammar school, in England 25%. There were good teachers attracted to secondary moderns on principled or political reasons but most went to the grammar schools. And they were divisive. Just like what is happening now but in a different structure. At least you could say that it was a system. Now we have anarchy. One of the proposed new free schools in Waltham Forest , Christian based, runs over 40 schools all around the country. How can they be accountable to local communities? Robert19
  • Score: 1

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