Crawley MP Henry Smith (Con) gives his reaction after a meeting on the future of the Discovery New School in West Sussex. Schools minister Lord Nash met today to hear from those who want to save the school. It's set to become the first free school to close in April after poor Ofsted reports.
A failing - free school - which faces closure may win a reprieve. School governors from the Discovery New School in Crawley spent the afternoon meeting with government officials.
The school's representatives were trying to convince the education official that the school, which opened in September 2011, hasn't been given enough time to turn things around. Christine Alsford reports.
One of the parents fighting to save a free school in Sussex that is threatened with closure says she is struggling to find a suitable alternative school for her daughter Molly.
The Discovery New School in Crawley, which opened in September 2011, is due to be shut down in April over concerns about its standard of education.
The planned closure is a major blow for the Government's free schools initiative. Parents have delivered a petition to Downing Street to save the school.
One mother, Suzanne Cass, says it's heartbreaking to watch children leaving and going to new schools, and that the Discovery New School should be given more time.
She is hoping that the school will be reprieved today, and made an impassioned plea to save the school ahead of a high level meeting that is being held with Government education officials later today.
A crunch meeting is to take place today to discuss the future of the Discovery free school in Crawley in Sussex. The school faces closure because of concerns about the standard of education it offers.
Parents, staff and pupils have been fighting to keep it open, going as far as to deliver a petition to Downing Street.
With a growing crisis over school places a brand new free school has opened in a former office block in the centre of Bournemouth.Read the full story ›
Ten more free schools won government approval to launch in the region today. They will open in 2014.Read the full story ›
The Department of Education has released a list of the ten new Free Schools which will open in 2014 in the Meridian region.
- Bray Free Primary School, Windsor and Maidenhead
- Cobham Free School (Senior Department), Secondary, Surrey
- Crawley Free School, All through school, West Sussex
- Evendons Primary School, Wokingham
- INSPIRE Special Free School, Secondary, Medway
- Island Free School, Secondary, Isle of Wight
- Jubilee Primary School, Kent
- Salisbury Sixth Form College, Wiltshire
- The Heights Primary School, Reading
- West Reading Education Network (WREN), Secondary, Reading
Ten free schools in our patch have been approved by Department for Education and are due to open in September 2014.
In total 102 new school given go ahead today by the government. Free schools are state funded by outside of local authority control and are set up by parents, charities, teachers and educationalists.
Well as you may have noticed on the roads this morning, it was back to school for many across the region today. But for some, it was an entirely new type of school
Free schools are state-funded, have the freedom to set their own curriculum and can be set up by parents and community groups.
See below for a full report
Ties are handed out at one of the first new free schools in our region. Our correspondents Christine Alsford and Sarah Saunders will be reporting today on free schools setting up in Meridian West and East.