I rather thought this quote summed up why the 'statist' critique of free schools is so bonkers:
But then I look at the kind of poison and stupidity and vileness Michael Gove and Toby Young and Katharine Birbalsingh have to put up with, and I do wonder. It was what struck me when watching Toby’s brilliant documentary series about his temerity in wanting to create a school offering a liberal arts education (specialising in the classics) gratis and for free to any child in the area, of however lowly a background, who might benefit from it.
What on earth is wrong with that? The opponents are purveyors of our current choiceless, failing system. The headteachers of the schools that think it fine to throw out semi-literate kids without much - if any - hope, the Unions that oppose any threat to their negotiated orthodoxy and the educationalists who refuse to admit that their theories and schemes have failed.
I am delighted that we have three proposals for free schools in Bradford (and not surprised by the rather contemptuous response from the LEA bureaucracy) because I know that what we're delivering now needs shaking up. And I hope that, when these schools succeed, we'll see a raft of other new schools delivering fine education - without concern to poverty or background - that can push aside the failing and coasting schools we have today.