Why a free school?

THE ARGUMENTS for a free school in Chichester are flawed, to put it kindly.

The worry that a proportion of children are below average shows a weak understanding of the idea of average.

Half of children will be below average academically at all times, and some of them will live in Chichester.

What we need is a system where all children receive an appropriate education no matter what their ability, and that is less likely to happen if another school takes away part of the funding for state schools in the area.

Where do these well-meaning people think the money is coming from for their pet project?

However, the argument that competition is the best way of raising standards is even more naïve.

Competition is one way of doing it, but at its worst it distorts learning and stresses parents, students and teachers merely to chase some pointless data-led set of targets.

We need well-funded schools, the support of community and well-trained teachers.

That means a rational planned system for the good of all, not well-meaning novices trying a sticking plaster solution for a problem best solved by planning and co-operation.

James Hobson

Hawthorn Close, Chichester