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Slackers need not apply

THE PROPOSAL that parents should set up schools is getting boring. Politicians from all the main parties pop up at regular intervals suggesting it, as if it were a wonderfully new and clever idea. Well, it ain't.

A far more original proposition is to let pupils set up schools. And this is exactly what is happening in the city of Freiburg in Germany.

There, a group of nine frustrated teenagers have opened the Methodos School.

The students, who are in the equivalent of the final year of A-levels, felt they would gain more if they could tell their teachers how they wanted to be instructed.

So they have rented rooms, hired 10 part-time teachers, arranged timetables and taken out a loan for pound;34,000 to budget the school year.

Those imagining that the time-table will consist of lessons in sending text messages and loitering outside KFC will be sadly disappointed.

Alwin Franke, 19, one of the project's organisers, said the Methodos School was not for slackers.

"We will study in small groups of four or five, from 9 to 5, six days a week," he said.

The seriousness of these German teenagers means it is unlikely the school will descend into Animal House-style anarchy. But we will watch how the year goes.

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