Crying Middle Tiers

The monitoring of free schools and academies continues to cause misery for the DfE but more importantly for the children, parents and staff at Discovery - ordered to close less than two years after opening; at Al-Madinah described by Ofsted as chaotic; Kings Science Academy, Lincoln Priory, Barnfield ... the list goes on.  On 2 December the DfE refused a FOI request saying ‘recent press claims about the creation of regional regulatory bodies were speculation and based on out of date information’ , but just three days later adverts for the £140,000 commissioners appeared in the TES.
Business interest in the edumarket becomes ever more complex.  Joining the well known big name UK players, Local Schools Network discovered there’s overseas interest in Gove’s ‘supply side revolution’ in rural Oxfordshire. 
Price of Freedom
Meanwhile the National Audit Office reported on the establishment of the free school programme.  The programme, which has cost twice as much as planned, saw no applications to open primary Free Schools in half of all districts with high or severe forecast need for places.  One of the few points of praise for the DfE was for low build costs – yes, the DfE celebrates educating our children in cheap and often inappropriate buildings.