Give Exclusive Brethren free school status

4th January 2013 at 00:00

In response to your article on the Exclusive Brethren's application for its schools to be recognised as free schools ("Exclusive Brethren seeks elusive free school status", 23 November), I understand that the idea behind free schools is the freedom to plan an individual curriculum according to the school's ethos. If this is the case then I can see no reason why the Focus Learning Trust's application should be rejected.

I teach in a Brethren school and can vouch for the fact that the teachers are of varying religious beliefs. My religious background was not even explored at my interview six years ago. We are not forced to follow the practices of any cult and are expected to teach according to the guidelines of the national curriculum. We are inspected in the same way as any state-registered school and so far we have gained grades of good to outstanding at every inspection. Our facilities, including two computer labs, are excellent.

I have been teaching for 40 years and have experienced many different types of educational establishments from primary to secondary modern, grammar, comprehensive and FE. No job has given me as much satisfaction as the one I am currently employed to do and I strongly recommend that Focus Learning Trust schools should be accepted as free schools. They are willing to accept any pupil no matter what their background. They are open schools and definitely not a cult as you so wrongly suggested.

M. Angus Dalton, Teacher at Focus School - Swaffham Campus.

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