Labour promise foundation of improved status

20th October 1995 at 01:00
If Labour wins the next general election, state schools will have to opt for foundation, community or aided status.

It would make sense for all existing county schools to apply to the Secretary of State to become foundation schools.

This way they would be able to take on the additional powers available to such schools, as well as their prestigious label.

Furthermore, the risks of polarisation of schools due to status differences would be reduced.

The only loss would be the potential disappearance of the label "community", though no doubt schools which valued it would find ways of including it in their titles.

This assumes that Labour is not thinking of "foundation" as a special category reserved for particular types of school such as existing GM schools or city technology colleges.

It would help if it made clear what kinds of criteria (if any) they would expect applicants for foundation status to satisfy.

PROF RON GLATTER Open University School of Education

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