Magazine article Public Finance

Clegg Outlines LibDem Strategy

Magazine article Public Finance

Clegg Outlines LibDem Strategy

Article excerpt

The Liberal Democrats' new leader, Nick Clegg, has advocated a new type of publicly funded school, in his first speech on public services since being elected to the top job.

Speaking on January 12 at a conference to discuss the LibDem manifesto, Clegg called for 'free schools' that would be overseen by local authorities but set up by any sponsor with 'the right credentials'. This would include parent groups, or voluntary and private sector organisations.

He said that the difference between free schools and similar existing models, such as academies and trust schools, was that they would not have any powers to select their pupils. Clegg also vowed to revoke the current selection powers that academies, trusts and specialist schools enjoy.

'If new schools only improve results by selecting the cleverest pupils, one form of educational segregation will merely be replaced by another,' he said.

'I want us to look at establishing a new liberal model of schools that are non-selective, under local government strategic oversight but not run by the council, and free to innovate to drive up standards for all our children. …

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