Plan submitted for Blackburn free school

A PRIVATE Blackburn school has formally submitted its application to become a free school.

Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in West Park Road, has submitted its 130-page document to the Department for Education requesting approval for the change in status.

The move would mean that QEGS, Lancashire’s oldest grammar school, would scrap its £10,000 a year fees and open its doors to children of all abilities.

It comes as pupil numbers fell from a high of 1,200 in 1997 to 478 in 2012.

The school said there should be a formal decision made in May.

Comments (11)

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9:10am Fri 18 Jan 13

caballo says...

Is this article correct, children of all abilities?
Is this article correct, children of all abilities? caballo

10:08am Fri 18 Jan 13

buckoff says...

How sad one of the best private schools in the country opening its doors to the commoners.
How sad one of the best private schools in the country opening its doors to the commoners. buckoff

12:12pm Fri 18 Jan 13

magicmum23 says...

They will limit number the free places so class sizes are still small and will pick the best of the best abilities. And all current paying pupils will get a guaranteed free place.
They will limit number the free places so class sizes are still small and will pick the best of the best abilities. And all current paying pupils will get a guaranteed free place. magicmum23

12:16pm Fri 18 Jan 13

magicmum23 says...

The classes will still be small and the remaining free places after all current pupils have there guaranteed places the remaining places will be given to the best of the best.
The pupils will still have to attend a formal entrance exam before any places are offered.
The classes will still be small and the remaining free places after all current pupils have there guaranteed places the remaining places will be given to the best of the best. The pupils will still have to attend a formal entrance exam before any places are offered. magicmum23

3:28pm Fri 18 Jan 13

Open_Mind says...

buckoff wrote:
How sad one of the best private schools in the country opening its doors to the commoners.
Commoners think MONEY is the root of all evil.
The Peerage believes COMMONERS are the root of all evil.

Seeing as you don’t have a Peer title, then you too are a commoner. So before making any further comments, think about what you are about to say. Surely a private educated member of the public would not make this mistake.
[quote][p][bold]buckoff[/bold] wrote: How sad one of the best private schools in the country opening its doors to the commoners.[/p][/quote]Commoners think MONEY is the root of all evil. The Peerage believes COMMONERS are the root of all evil. Seeing as you don’t have a Peer title, then you too are a commoner. So before making any further comments, think about what you are about to say. Surely a private educated member of the public would not make this mistake. Open_Mind

3:34pm Fri 18 Jan 13

RibbleLad says...

Let us be clear about this. Free Schools are merely a type of Academy by another, fancy name and as such are established through the provisions of the Academies Act 2010.

Any academy, unless its predecessor school was one of the 164 maintained grammar schools listed in the Schedule to the 198 School Standards and Framework Act (such as Clitheroe Royal Grammar School), under the Academies Act 2010 and terms of its Funding Agreement with the Secretary of State cannot have an admissions policy that is selective by academic ability; i.e. be a "grammar school" in nature as well as by name. It would simply be illegal.

Whilst Clitheroe Royal Grammar is therefore thankfully a "selective academy", QEGS cannot be a "selective free school" such an institution cannot exist under the 2010 Academies Act.

Some academies and free schools do, however, have an"entrance test"; e.g. William Hulme's grammar School in Manchester - a ULT Academy. Such as test is used to "band" the applicants such that the schools admits 25% from the bottom quartile of the ability spectrum, 25% from the next to bottom quartile, 25% from the next quartile and 25% from the upper "grammar school" quartile.

Thus making sure as far as possible that the intake is as mixed ability as possible.

As for small classes. An academy or free school only receives the same amount per pupil as an equivalent maintained school in the same education authority, plus a small amount to buy in necessary services. Typically this is around £5000 per year per pupil. Or around half of what QEGS charged as a fee-paying school.

It is difficult to see how QEGS, once they are a free school, will be able to afford small classes on such an income stream. There might be some form of transitional grant to tied them over in the short term but in the longer term their class sizes will be no different from those of any other academy in England.
Let us be clear about this. Free Schools are merely a type of Academy by another, fancy name and as such are established through the provisions of the Academies Act 2010. Any academy, unless its predecessor school was one of the 164 maintained grammar schools listed in the Schedule to the 198 School Standards and Framework Act (such as Clitheroe Royal Grammar School), under the Academies Act 2010 and terms of its Funding Agreement with the Secretary of State cannot have an admissions policy that is selective by academic ability; i.e. be a "grammar school" in nature as well as by name. It would simply be illegal. Whilst Clitheroe Royal Grammar is therefore thankfully a "selective academy", QEGS cannot be a "selective free school" such an institution cannot exist under the 2010 Academies Act. Some academies and free schools do, however, have an"entrance test"; e.g. William Hulme's grammar School in Manchester - a ULT Academy. Such as test is used to "band" the applicants such that the schools admits 25% from the bottom quartile of the ability spectrum, 25% from the next to bottom quartile, 25% from the next quartile and 25% from the upper "grammar school" quartile. Thus making sure as far as possible that the intake is as mixed ability as possible. As for small classes. An academy or free school only receives the same amount per pupil as an equivalent maintained school in the same education authority, plus a small amount to buy in necessary services. Typically this is around £5000 per year per pupil. Or around half of what QEGS charged as a fee-paying school. It is difficult to see how QEGS, once they are a free school, will be able to afford small classes on such an income stream. There might be some form of transitional grant to tied them over in the short term but in the longer term their class sizes will be no different from those of any other academy in England. RibbleLad

5:19pm Fri 18 Jan 13

buckoff says...

Open_Mind wrote:
buckoff wrote:
How sad one of the best private schools in the country opening its doors to the commoners.
Commoners think MONEY is the root of all evil.
The Peerage believes COMMONERS are the root of all evil.

Seeing as you don’t have a Peer title, then you too are a commoner. So before making any further comments, think about what you are about to say. Surely a private educated member of the public would not make this mistake.
And how do you Know who and where I was educated? Think its you that should think before you speak!!
[quote][p][bold]Open_Mind[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]buckoff[/bold] wrote: How sad one of the best private schools in the country opening its doors to the commoners.[/p][/quote]Commoners think MONEY is the root of all evil. The Peerage believes COMMONERS are the root of all evil. Seeing as you don’t have a Peer title, then you too are a commoner. So before making any further comments, think about what you are about to say. Surely a private educated member of the public would not make this mistake.[/p][/quote]And how do you Know who and where I was educated? Think its you that should think before you speak!! buckoff

7:28pm Fri 18 Jan 13

Ladysadie says...

In 1997 the brightest children were given bursaries to enable them to attend but the current head teacher all but did away with these therefore ensuring pupils who would have been an asset to the school could not attend for financial reasons. This is why pupil numbers were so low by 2012.
In 1997 the brightest children were given bursaries to enable them to attend but the current head teacher all but did away with these therefore ensuring pupils who would have been an asset to the school could not attend for financial reasons. This is why pupil numbers were so low by 2012. Ladysadie

8:22pm Fri 18 Jan 13

DGower says...

RibbleLad is correct in that Free Schools are all ability and therefore cannot cream off the best talent out there.

It will be interesting to see what their admissions criteria will be.
RibbleLad is correct in that Free Schools are all ability and therefore cannot cream off the best talent out there. It will be interesting to see what their admissions criteria will be. DGower

10:51pm Fri 18 Jan 13

magicmum23 says...

The classes will be no bigger than 25 pupils, this has already been confirmed to QEGS parents, via letter.
The classes will be no bigger than 25 pupils, this has already been confirmed to QEGS parents, via letter. magicmum23

10:53pm Fri 18 Jan 13

magicmum23 says...

And for the children wanting to attend from sept 2014 as a free pupil the admissions exam for then takes place by appointment this weekend.
And for the children wanting to attend from sept 2014 as a free pupil the admissions exam for then takes place by appointment this weekend. magicmum23

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