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How To Set Up a Free School (Penguin Specials) (Penguin Shorts/Specials) [Kindle Edition]

Toby Young
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Penguin Specials are designed to fill a gap. Written to be read over a long commute or a short journey, they are original and exclusively in digital form. This is Toby Young's guide to setting up a Free school.

In September 2011, one of the most radical and controversial education reforms in the UK became a reality when twenty-four Free Schools - funded by the tax-payer but shaped and run by parents, teachers and charities, independently of Local Authority control - opened their gates to children across the country. They are the centrepiece of the Coalition government's argument for a 'Big Society' and have provided a key battleground between political combatants on all sides. The crusade on their behalf in the face of fierce opposition has been led by the outspoken journalist Toby Young, whose West London Free School was one of the first.

In this witty, pithy essay, Young explains step-by-step how he gathered support and saw his vision through, from securing premises, teachers and students to fighting off opponents at every turn. At once an argument and a how-to guide, this timely Penguin Special is the essential manifesto for the Free Schools movement and a must-read for supporters and detractors alike.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 153 KB
  • Print Length: 74 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (1 Dec. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0069YVXA2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #84,365 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
3.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful resource! 29 Jan. 2014
Verified Purchase
An easy to digest wealth of information . The quintessential guide required for those intending to open a Free school.
Grateful thanks
The Aspire Free school
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
I have spent quite a bit of my time recently fighting several free school proposals in Suffolk that I think are not needed and have had the occasional "exchange of views" with Toby Young on Twitter. In some respects it is probably as well some of the free school proposers did not read this book as they would not have made some of the mistakes they have! This is a very practical and "chatty" book in typical Toby Young style. He tells the story of how he set up the West London Free School with lots of tips and tricks along the way.

Put it this way if you had the choice of this book or the official DfE guidance then this book is much more informative and easy to read - although someone will have to wade through the formal bid documents at some point.

Strangely Toby and I seem to agree on one point that free schools should be set up by local groups rather than large corporates and this book is really helpful for any such group to guide them through the minefield of administration.

So if you want to set up a free school, oppose free schools or are just curious then I recommend this book. It costs £2 which is very reasonable!
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic summary of an odyssey. 26 Jun. 2013
Verified Purchase
Some would consider this short but given the fluid landscape in education I prefer the lack of technical detail which would be out of date in a month. It is an inspiring yet sobering read for anyone who's thinking of setting up a free school or like me just wanting to know more. A must read if you're in this field!
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6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Toby Young 9 May 2012
Say what you want about Toby's politics, the guy is still an articulate genius!

Hat's off to him for being the lightning rod for the entire Free School program, and handling the flack with wit and courage.
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