Hague will home in on free schools

22nd September 2000 at 01:00
THE Tories' "free schools" policy will dominate the education debate at the party's conference in Bournemouth next month.

The policy would let heads run their own admissions, pay, discipline and uniform policies. It would effectively mean the end of local education authorities.

Tory councillors have already urged party leader William Hague to tone down the policy by making it optional. Teacher unionsplan to use the conference to argue that the scheme, in its present form, is unworkable.

John Dunford, general secretary of the Secondary Heads Association, said the policy could lead to the "disintegration of the state school system"unless bodies separate from schools were responsible for placings.

At the Scottish Tory conference in June, delegates were almost unanimous in their backing.

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