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FRONT LINE FIRST - TORY MEMBER QUESTIONS FREE SCHOOLS POLICY

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A Conservative council leader is pushing the party leadership to rethink its proposals for free schools. ...
A Conservative council leader is pushing the party leadership to rethink its proposals for free schools.

The policy would see heads and governors gaining complete responsibility for their schools, with local education authority powers stripped down to a bare minimum.

But Bracknell Forest BC leader Paul Bettison is asking the party leadership whether schools will be allowed to choose whether they become free - a move that could see some choosing to remain in LEA control.

Mr Bettison says he is simply seeking clarification of the policy, but his letter puts him in opposition to the party line. Speaking on his schools policy

in July, Conservative leader William Hague said: 'Under a Conservative government, all schools will be free schools.'

Mr Bettison said: 'We support the idea of free schools as we supported grant maintained schools. But we're interested in whether this applies to every single school in the country and whether there would be a choice.'

He thought it likely that more Conservative councils would seek 'clarification' on the issue.

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