Free schools have taken quite a battering the last few weeks in the media, prescription since my last blog we have fielded several enquiries from concerned parents asking if our teachers are qualified, try the response is a resounding ‘yes’, we only employ qualified teachers.
We’d like to reassure prospective and existing parents and carers, WNA are committed to having a mixture of staff to support the needs of our children and our curriculum, and will ensure that all future appointments of teacher have qualified teacher status (QTS), and the teaching support staff (outdoor and creative coordinators) are qualified and experienced in their specialist fields.
Academies and free schools have the freedom to opt out of the National Curriculum and employ teachers who don’t have QTS, at WNA we have chosen to opt out of the National curriculum, but to opt in to employing teachers with QTS
We do however understand and support those free schools that have chosen to take advantage of this freedom if it helps meet their aims, why not employ the best people for the job even if they may not have QTS? Take East London Science School who employ an inspiring science teacher without QTS, featured recently on BBC Newsnight : http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b03gg9gl/Newsnight_30_10_2013/ (from around 8mins 30seconds).
The freedom to employ non-qualified teachers is one we hear criticised every time free schools are mentioned in the media from those who oppose them, (would you send your children to an unqualified doctor?). I believe there are very few free schools taking advantage of this particular freedom, and this is used as a smoke screen from those concerned over their jobs and funding from the competition free schools may create.
Free schools can offer a real alternative to parents and carers, the freedom to create new innovative curriculums and educational models should help raise standards wherever they are opened, other schools will have to raise their games if they are to fill places.
We hope by offering a more personalised learning experience, an enquiry based curriculum that differs from the state provision, a model that welcomes and encourages parents to support the learning, that for the first time parents and carers now have a real choice, rather than more of the same.
To support admissions for 2014, for children born on or between 01/09/09- 31/08/10, our next open days are coming up next week:
Thurs 7th Nov, 4pm-7pm
Sat 9th Nov, 10am-1pm
Join us at Benwell Nature Park, Atkinson Road, NE4 8XT, to meet staff, governors and other parents, sample the school catering, look around the classroom, explore the nature park, creative activities will be available for children.
If you can’t make these dates, please phone the office during school hours to make an appointment to visit us: 0191 2739477
Visit our updated website for more info on 2014 admissions.
Finally I hope you all enjoyed the half term break, great to see happy children return this morning after the week off school.