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Lewes New School applying to be a Free School

On 26 Jan 2012 at 3:22pm Smiler wrote:
Have you heard that Lewes New School is applying to become a Free School, which would mean it no longer needs to charge fees? It‚??s a lovely, small school with a really unique approach to education. We need to show we have the support of the local community to make our application a success ‚?? would you be willing to sign our petition?
*Lewes New School is a school that nurtures independent thinking in a town that celebrates independent thought*"

Check it out here »
On 26 Jan 2012 at 9:41pm Deelite wrote:
These little schools heading towards free school status might consider that, onceg removed from control of the local education authority they are then directly controlled by central government and the hugely mistaken Michael Gove. It is a case of sup with the devil. There will be a price to pay for the Tories cyniclly attractive Free School offering of disproportionately large funds (which come at the expense of funding for the state sector schools).

Still, good for the parents of the small number of children that attend the school who'll then have their kids fees funded by the tax payer.
On 26 Jan 2012 at 9:48pm Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
Lewes New School has sniffed the chance of government funding that will save Jocasta and Taquin's mummy and daddy a shedload of money, imo.
On 26 Jan 2012 at 10:28pm Ms Convention wrote:
It's Tarquin I believe, with an r.
And then there's Torquil, Pandora, Sebastian, Beatrice, Hugo, Francesca, Tabitha, Miles, Theodor, Tilly, Giles, Piers, Guy, Moon, Sunbeam, Earth, Wind and Fire.
On 27 Jan 2012 at 3:08am Dingo wrote:
Michael Gove isn`t fit to run an egg and spoon race never mind a gov`t department.
On 27 Jan 2012 at 8:14am DFL wrote:
Interesting - does the free handout that they aim to get from the government surpass the amount that they currently get from private funding ? i.e. is private funding failing, OR, are they greedy and want more.....
On 27 Jan 2012 at 8:16am bastian wrote:
so they will now have to provide their education under the national curriculum.
On 27 Jan 2012 at 10:19am Deelite wrote:
Free Schools, like Academies, do not have to adhere to the National Curriculum. Amazing really, the National Curriculum has taken years to develop and Gove throws it away without any debate at all. It's very disturbing how the overwhelming majority of educational professionals think Gove's plans are madness and health professionals think the same of Lansleys plans for the Health Service.

Still, it's hard to blame Lewes New School for taking advantage of current circumstances. Just a shame the area's already very good local education authority schools will see their funding reduced as more Free Schools run by pressure groups, faith groups, businesses, the military and part-time parents are awarded funds by the Tories. Also sad to see that the Tories are happy to waste years of local education authority experience and knowledge and entrust our kids education to amateurs and those with ulterior non-education based motives (business, faith groups etc) so they can reduce the influence of the local education authority and centralise control.
On 27 Jan 2012 at 12:05pm Grim Reaper wrote:
This is total and utter balderdash. I'm glad I'll be dead soon and won't have to see Old Blighty sinking any further into the Swaneeee...
On 27 Jan 2012 at 2:45pm GigabitG wrote:
There seem to be two types of arguments going on here: 1) Are all people who send their kids to private schools screaming toffs who should be lynched (2) whether free schools are a good idea or not.
To answer (2), I'm no Tory, but I don't see why free school status is in itself a bad thing. Lewes New School is not a typical private school and anyone sneering at it doesn't know what they're talking about. It has a very independent ethos and approach to education. To my knowledge, local education authorities have always turned down their applications for funding because the school wouldn't adopt the standard government line on education. It remains to be seen whether Lewes New School can keep its ethos if it gets free school status, but I am confident the parent teaching community at Lewes New School will be able to resist any political dogma that might be forced upon them by the toads of Westminster.
Ultimately giving it free school status means more kids from the local are getting a chance to go there and benefit from the school.
On 27 Jan 2012 at 3:34pm Grim Reaper wrote:
Oi Webbo. You sneaky devil you!
I see buggery still gets through though
On 27 Jan 2012 at 3:36pm bastian wrote:
because without a unified curriculum a free school can teach that the sea is pink and that jesus is the captain of Wolverhampton and get away with it...or they could teach that science is not peer reviewed fact as aposed to the undeniable truth that the church of the flying spagetti monster our saviour.
On 27 Jan 2012 at 3:38pm Leo wrote:
I understand why this becomes a wider political argument for many. However, I believe in doing so we miss some major points.
I hope we can all agree that every child in the UK deserves a good education. However, opinions on what constitutes a ‚??good education‚?? vary greatly. I believe that it is important that children have an education that helps them to feel passionate about life, understand more about what their strengths are and be able to think and guide themselves through this rapidly changing world. I hold no particular political affiliation (but just so you know, I will never vote for the Conservative Party), I suppose I have my own brand of left-leaning liberalism.
I work in education, in my job I deal with teenagers and young adults who have not thrived in the current education system. Many have not helped themselves and often they have difficult family lives, however, I see too many bright and capable young people who have been let down by the education system to put too much faith in it. A centralised, dogmatic system of teaching and learning that is inflexible, unresponsive to children‚??s' needs and restricts the thinking and practice of good teachers, does not deserve my loyalty. I come from a working class background, I cannot really afford to pay for my children's education, but I also don‚??t want them spending their formative primary years wearing uniforms and sitting around tables for several hours every weekday.
I think Lewes is blessed with some very very good primary schools and communities of parents and teachers that really care about the young people of this town. But I don't like the education system as it is dictated by centralised power. Lewes New School wants to come out of the independent school ghetto, it wants to be accessible to more families and more children, it wants to demonstrate what it does well and offer its strengths to the wider education community. I invite everyone to support Lewes New School's application to be a free school irrespective of your political leaning or your thoughts on the principle of free schools. I invite you to support Lewes New School because it has something to offer to the debate on how to deliver 'good education' to all our children. I invite you to support Lewes New School because if our school thrives it won't have a detrimental effect on other schools, on the contrary it will help to create a thriving, dynamic learning community in Lewes.
A town where all of our children can become confident, successful adults.
On 27 Jan 2012 at 3:41pm Jo wrote:
Wait a moment. Are we seriously judging taxpaying people for asking the state to fund their kids education? So what if the local education authority isn't involved. I am not so proud of being AT THE BOTTOM of every international statistic about education. Instead I hope for a system like Belgium, where each child brings the state allowance to his/ her school, and the parents can freely choose what kind of education suits them. Which means there are all sorts of schools, Montisori, Steiner, Froebel, you name it, and they are all state funded. I say "Go, Lewes New School", and will have a look at their educational policies. It might be just what my nieces need.
On 27 Jan 2012 at 3:43pm bastian wrote:
If I was adevious person I would say that the governemts of late have medelled in education in an unpresidented way and yet at the same time they have dangled the free school,academy, systems in tandom..it almost looks as if the curriculum was set up to fail to make free schools and academies look attractive.
I mean history has been downgraded to the level of a tabloid...who wouldn't rather send their kids to a school that had the freedom to teach social history properly...who put jack the ripper and the titanic on the curiculum? the government.
On 27 Jan 2012 at 3:46pm GigabitG wrote:
"because without a unified curriculum a free school can teach that the sea is pink and that jesus is the captain of Wolverhampton"
... or rather, they could discuss why the see is the colour it is, and who really was jesus....
On 27 Jan 2012 at 4:11pm bastian wrote:
Irony evades you,..sea has an"a" in it. The idea that state school doesn't produce people who can discuss things is a fallacy...I am a product of state school and I love a discussion...it came from my parents...what free schools tend to be is a way of removing the thinkers from everyday ordinairy kids which in turn prevents the non thinkers of ever having a chance at contact with the bright sparks.and so the myth perpectuates that state schools are rubbish and full of rubbish kids.Interestingly most local schools in this town are anexception...they are very good and very mixed.
On 27 Jan 2012 at 4:48pm Leo wrote:
There are no 'everyday ordinary kids'
It kind of illustrates to issues with the pervading thinking in the debate around education methods. First and foremost it is the job of adults (be they teachers or parents) to help children develop a view of themselves that does not label them with cliches and limiting terminology.
Refering to children (particularly primary school children as 'bright sparks' 'thinkers' 'non-thinkers' and 'rubbish kids' is really not useful at all.
It is, at best, blinkered and out of date thinking, at worst, it is destructive and damaging to a child's sense of who they are and what they can achieve.
I do not judge anyone for using these terms because they were the kind of things we were told as children. However, there are more effective and useful ways of communicating with children and talking about children.
Lewes New School works with a model of respectful communication called Parent Effectiveness Training and Teacher Effectiveness Training (PET & TET), developed by Dr Thomas Gordon. If you are interested check it out.
That is yet another reason to support Lewes New School's application to be a free school.
On 27 Jan 2012 at 10:45pm Aquarius wrote:
My child goes to Lewes New School. Lucky me, I can afford the fees, but lots of parents who send their kids there can barely afford to do so. In fact, probably most.
For most parents the decision to choose the New School requires them (at the moment) to divert much of their disposable income to paying to have their child educated in a way that suits their beliefs regarding what a primary school should be all about i.e. a fun, friendly place where a child can just be themselves.
To be clear, this is no typical private school. There are no acres of playing fields, no state-of-the art-interactive-whiteboards, no high-tech playground equipment. This is so that the fees can be set at the bare minimum to cover the school's basic running costs while offering an amazing and fully-rounded education. (OFSTED: 'Good'). But even then, it's still a lot of money to find for parents who already paid through their taxes for their child's education.
Yes, some kids at the school do have names that are a tad unusual and yes, there are some well-off parents there. What of it? I expect that's true at every school in Lewes, The reality is that the parents at Lewes New School are a bunch of really decent folk who are no better off financially than the average Joe in Lewes and who are suffering in this recession the same as everyone else.
And FYI, there are a lack of Primary School places in Lewes and the New School could take in maybe another 20 or so kids (in addition to current numbers) if/when it got Free School status. Think of that as a bit less overcrowding in some of the other Lewes Primary schools.
I certainly am no fan of Mr Gove - his views on education make me feel ill. But, paradoxically, his Free School project is already funding schools that are successfully using models of education that would make Mr Gove sick too.
So please do support the school's application because there's a group of your fellow Lewesians who would really appreciate your help.
On 28 Jan 2012 at 12:35am Childless Adult wrote:
Quite frankly, I resent a huge proportion of my taxes being wasted on centres of mediocrity that turn out often feral sewer rats. Anything which produces better educated people for the country's future good, at a more efficient cost, is what I would prefer.
Nothing I've read above gives me any hope whatsoever. Can someone - probably a leftie - tell me which country has the most despicable and unequal education system, where rich people pay to get a better education for their sprogs? I think I'll move there, as it'll save me a fortune...
On 28 Jan 2012 at 9:28am Mr Gilhooly wrote:
I went to a state school in New Zealand for all of my schooling. Swamped in class sizes 1 teacher to 30 students, my academic record was poor throughout my years of schooling. It wasn't until I went and studied my Degree that I excelled, class sizes within my subject were 12 - 15 students.. When I discovered the Lewes New School I was immediately drawn to the small class sizes, my son has three teachers for around 16 - 20 children. Of course I'd choose more teacher time with my child if there was a choice, I work tirelessly to afford the fees. This is my choice and my boy loves the school, and no he's not called Tarquin, or Ruby Crystal, he's into Rugby, Mud, Drumming, Lego, Computer games, camping, swords, and spud guns. These are the early years of our children, and if you investigate some child psychology you my discover these early years need to be nurtured not threatened.
On 28 Jan 2012 at 9:32am bastian wrote:
the problem is that rather than try to change the system for the good of everyone within the state system, the division of schools through the free school system just fragments class and education,I would prefer that parents got up and tried to make the government think differently..schools are run by government, not the county council and people who become govenors of state schools don't understand that being a govenor means easing the school through, not trying to force its hand on personal issues.
If you would like all education to change, tell the people who run education.The government.
On 28 Jan 2012 at 5:41pm Dave wrote:
I suspect that by the time they've changed the system to suit him Mr Gilhooly's child will have missed the boat though, so his only choice is to send his son to a school that already offers the type of education he wants for his child as a great many people do within the state system already.
I can't see a problem with that.
On 28 Jan 2012 at 8:28pm bastian wrote:
all this divide and rule is teaching our children one thing...you are not the same, those parents who can, take their kids out of the system...so the whole social thing gets torn apart.Equality is then polarised into the kids who went to free school and the others.
On 28 Jan 2012 at 10:03pm Mr Cynical wrote:
Lewes New School is too small to make any difference to education or culture in Lewes. The school cannot expand or have an inclusive entrance policy without adapting, demeaning and destroying its current 'superior' ethos. This is purely a bid by a small group of well-to-do middle class parents each with three kids to educate to get the state to fund their eccentric educational ideas.

The Lewes New School parents can obviously afford to pay for their kids education as they are doing so at the moment. They should continue to do so. The tax payer should not be expected to contribute to their ethos and the education of their privileged kids.

And it is political. Each new 'free school' diverts funds from state education. If the Tories succeed England will be left with the state sector schools acting as sinks for all the problem and disadvantaged kids and the 'free schools' run by pressure groups and middle class parents armed with elitist entrance policies based upon their own peculiar requirements (faith, kids with fancy names etc).
On 29 Jan 2012 at 7:55am Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
Well said, Mr Cynical.
The fragmentation of education means thatmany of the children whose parents take education seriously and motivate them are taken out of the state system. That lowers the bar for those that remain and means that the proprtion of the dim and dysfunctional in state schools increases, to the detriment of all their pupils.
Of course, you can all tell that I was educated privately from the age of 11!
On 29 Jan 2012 at 3:52pm bastian wrote:
the use of the words,dysfunctional and dim are part of the reason these parents are taking their kids out...but strangely it actually glowingly highlights the problem kids by removing their children from the contamination of poverty and ignorance that state schools fight on a daily basis. state schools don't words like that to describe kids, they are very careful to fulfil the equal education of children.
On 30 Jan 2012 at 2:58pm Brixtonbelle wrote:
I think the problem of selection also arises. The type of education that Lewes New School provides will be very attractive to a lot of parents in Lewes, but given that it is a tiny site, they will have to adhere to standard admission procedures for a small intake.

Therefore they will have to take 'cared for or looked after' children first, followed by those who live in the catchment, followed by siblings.
Expect to see house prices rise in the Pells and Landport areas as a result of a rush for places !!

Many parents who currently send their kids there wouldn;t get them in - and the access argument goes down the swannee.
On 30 Jan 2012 at 6:15pm Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
Perhaps this move comes from Landport residents keen to push up the value of their homes!
On 5 Jan 2016 at 12:00pm Jane malone wrote:
While not wishing to deny that parents make sacrifices to send their children to the New School I would point out that the allowance received by a single unemployed person on benefits is £3,764.80 per annum on top of housing costs. I note that the fees for the school are £7,000 pa plus extras for trips etc.

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