AN ALL-GIRLS Muslim-faith based free school in Slough has been given the go ahead in the latest round of free school applications.
Education secretary Michael Gove today approved 102 new free school applications to open in 2014 and after – delivering around 50,000 new school places.
One of those is the Slough Girls’ Leadership Academy run by the Tauheedul Free Schools Trust (TFST) – a 700 pupil school, for 11-19 year olds with a 50/50 split for Muslims and non-Muslim pupils to open in 2015.
Mr Gove said: “There are many innovators in local communities set on raising standards of education for their children. I am delighted to approve so many of their high-quality plans to open a free school.
“Free schools are extremely popular with parents and are delivering strong discipline and teaching excellence across the country.”
The Observer exclusively revealed the trust’s application and in an interview with a school chief, she said a town centre site is a priority.
The trust will now finalise its plans in readiness to open from September 2014 – with securing a site the next step.
Free schools are state-funded schools independent of local authority control. They are run by teachers – not local or central government bureaucrats. They have the freedom to decide the length of the school day and term, the curriculum, and how they reward their teachers and spend their money.
There are fewer schools approved this year with a faith designation or ethos. Fifteen will be faith designated, compared with 20 last year. Ten will have a faith ethos, compared with 13 last year.
John Dickens • Published 22 May 2013