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Synopsis

Penguin Specials are designed to fill a gap. Written to be read over a long commute or a short journey, they are original and exclusively in digital form. This is Toby Young's guide to setting up a Free school.

In September 2011, one of the most radical and controversial education reforms in the UK became a reality when twenty-four Free Schools - funded by the tax-payer but shaped and run by parents, teachers and charities, independently of Local Authority control - opened their gates to children across the country. They are the centrepiece of the Coalition government's argument for a 'Big Society' and have provided a key battleground between political combatants on all sides. The crusade on their behalf in the face of fierce opposition has been led by the outspoken journalist Toby Young, whose West London Free School was one of the first.

In this witty, pithy essay, Young explains step-by-step how he gathered support and saw his vision through, from securing premises, teachers and students to fighting off opponents at every turn. At once an argument and a how-to guide, this timely Penguin Special is the essential manifesto for the Free Schools movement and a must-read for supporters and detractors alike.

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