Earlier this week, I was privileged to represent Wapping High School at an afternoon tea with the Prime Minister David Cameron and the Education Secretary Nicky Morgan. The event was a celebration of the successes of the Free School initiative and was held at Lancaster House just off the Mall (next door to Prince Charles’ home).
The event brought together Free School founders, senior leaders and a few politicians. We were treated to music recitals from students at a number of new schools and heard from Nicky Morgan and David Cameron about their plans for the future of Free Schools. Nearly 70% of Free Schools have been rated good or outstanding by Ofsted and that proportion is expected to rise given the rapid progress being made by schools judged as requiring improvement. Research compiled by the New Schools Network shows that Free Schools are using their freedoms to innovate and raise standards. At Wapping High we have used these freedoms to extend the school day, introduce Project Based Learning (PBL) and offer a wide range of enrichment activities that would normally only be offered as after-school clubs. As the school develops the Governing Body will continue to encourage the school to seek out new ideas and best practice.
Sadly, I didn't quite make it close enough to David Cameron to share a scone but I did meet some inspiring school governors and headteachers and I was proud to be representing Wapping High School.