'Championing the rights of children'

Nicky Morgan: free schools may not be run on for-profit basis

Garry Tue 10 Mar 2015 18:42

Education Secretary says for-profit model makes her ‘very uncomfortable’.

Nicky Morgan, the Education Secretary, has ruled out allowing the Government’s flagship free schools to be run on a “for profit” basis saying the idea made her “very uncomfortable”.

Speaking as David Cameron prepares to announce the creation of as many as 500 new free schools in the next Parliament, Mrs Morgan said charities, parent groups and sponsors will continue to take a lead in running the schools, which are state-funded but free from local authority control.

Some proponents of free schools should become profitmaking businesses, using hedge funds and venture capitalists to raise funds.

Michael Gove, the Government’s Chief Whip and Mrs Morgan’s predecessor as education secretary who was responsible for creating the free school policy, was said to be among those who favour the use of for-profits. His spokesman said he too was opposed, however.

Asked about the suggestion that for-profits might be allowed if the Conservatives are in power after the election, Mrs Morgan told Radio 4’s Today Programme: "Yes I can rule it out, I think having for profit education is something that would make me feel very uncomfortable and it is not something that is needed.

Read more... (Daily Telegraph - 09 March)