Any Questions from Beccles

George Monbiot
Tonight BBC Radio 4's Any Questions? came from Sir John Leman School in Beccles. If you missed it you can catch it on Radio 4 again at 1pm on Saturday 3rd March or you can Listen Again via BBC iPlayer. After the Saturday repeat is Any Answers? 

I was lucky enough to be in the audience of around 300 who were very lively. We were fortunate to have an interesting panel with George Monbiot in great form demolishing Baroness Warsi's free school arguments calling them "privatisation of education".

Baroness Warsi
It was great that Sir John Leman Head Jeremy Rowe got to ask the question about free schools himself to massive applause from the audience.

Margaret Hodge who is MP for Barking came in with the answer to what I wanted to ask by quite rightly pointing out that what we actually need are primary school places in London not secondary school places in an area that already has an excess of places such as Suffolk.

The room was pretty much united on the Free School question with the audience incensed at Warsi's attempts to suggest that this was a parent led venture. "Not in Beccles" was the shout from many people as the room that had previously been divided in a typical left/right way was united on this issue. And again when asked who actually decides there were cries of "Gove"!

Jeremy Rowe
Even private school headteacher Anthony Seldon tempered his support for free schools with an acceptance that the Beccles proposal might not be a good idea.

But rather than reading if you really want to know what the people of Beccles think of the plans for a free school in the town, just listen!
Jeremy Rowe 756342113822831580

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