Just a simple question … to begin with

I confess to not having read the small print that goes with the application to open a ‘free’ school so the answers to my starter question could be there already but it is still things I am thinking about.

Some years ago when doing a CPD course at Sheffield Hallam I wrote a document about ‘The Use of Time’. In it I pondered on the personal and institutional ways that time is organised by people and on behalf of people. One of my key comments was that you can’t bank time you have to spend it second by second, minute by minute etc.

And so I was wondering, with the formation of ‘free’ schools who will control the time children/students spend on their education? Will it be up to the school or will school be told the number of days that their charges have to be ‘in school’? And what will ‘in school’ mean with the new freedoms that the more open curriculum should engender? What price the Education Welfare Officers role in all of this. On a more day-to-day basis will schools have control over the time children arrive and depart? It was never sensible that five year olds would begin at 9.00 in the morning and go home about 3.00 in the afternoon when their eleven year old siblings did exactly the same. And we all know that teenagers don’t often wake to perform well early in the day so will they begin after lunch? And can we please have a sort of two term year of three months each please, six days a week? The real question is one which asks, ‘Is it all up for grabs?’ and if not who is going to specify what is best because I think that the idea of these new schools was that the group that starts the school might want a say in this.

Other questions to follow …

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