We should move mountains to stop Three Valleys

Sir,

So the Three Valleys free school proposal has moved one step closer to becoming a reality – despite almost zero interest locally, and concern about the ability of Mr Morahan and NICHE to run a school.

It has been reported that opening a free school in the Dearne Valley would adversely affect some local schools, but this insults parents’ abilities to ask the right questions of the school they are considering sending their child to.

Some of these questions are:

* Will my chil d be taught by qualified teachers?

* Do the leadership and management team have experience of running a school?

* Are the facilities provided fit for purpose?

* Will all the courses my child studies lead to the skills and qualifications needed to prepare him/her for life?

The answers to all these questions are yes for our existing local schools, but it is not at all certain the answers will be yes for the new free school.

There are many ways that parents can ensure their child’s educational success – not least taking an interest in their child’s school life, supporting their learning and their school.

Better educational success will not be more likely if you send a child to a new free school that is without a proven track record.

Quite the opposite, in fact.

The Three Valleys free school has not yet been given final approval.

Let us hope that Mr Gove and the DfE take notice of the formal objections and representations, so that it never is approved.

Ann Roche,

Parent, teacher and governor