New free thinking

Eylan Ezekiel speaking to interested parents at a meeting in Oxford

Eylan Ezekiel speaking to interested parents at a meeting in Oxford

First published in Oxford

REVISED plans for a proposed free school in Oxford have been submitted to the Government.

An earlier proposal from the Oxford New School steering group for Oxford’s first new secondary school since 1972 was rejected last year by the Department for Education because of a lack of detail.

But now the group of parents, teachers, school leaders and education professionals has put together a new scheme.

Originally it was planned for the school to have a sixth form and to follow the Scottish Curriculum.

Now the group has revised its proposal so it would follow the new qualifications currently being developed, the English Baccalaureate Certificate, known as the EBacc, and a Technical Baccalaureate or TechBacc for more practical, vocational subjects.

It would take up to 100 pupils in each year, starting with Year 7 in September 2014, and would no longer include a sixth form.

That is a larger number of pupils per year than originally proposed, but the school would still remain among the smallest Oxfordshire secondaries with a maximum of 500 pupils.

Lead proposer Eylan Ezekiel is an educational consultant, former teacher and father of two.

He said: “The key differences to the original proposal are that it is far more detailed in our educational plan in terms of how we are going to implement our vision.

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“We will make sure children have appropriate qualifications that are the main currency for getting into jobs and further education.”

So far 250 families have expressed their support for the proposal, but the organisers want more to back the planned school to show the level of interest in their proposal.

In the application to the Department for Education, four potential sites in the east and south of the city have been identified.

Mr Ezekiel said that because no funding would be released until the plan was given the go-ahead, it was not possible to enter into detailed negotiations with landowners and he could not reveal the locations yet.

The 41-year-old, from Florence Park, said he hoped to be able to lay out all the non-confidential details of the proposed school, from staffing to curriculum, in a public meeting to be arranged in the next couple of months.

If the application is assessed as being worthy of taking further, the group will be invited to interview in March or April.

The organisers will find out if they have been given permission in May.

l For more details, visit onschool.org.uk

Comments (4)

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7:18am Fri 11 Jan 13

Sandy Wimpole-Smythe says...

The rising number of schools in England with academy status could fuel rather than improve social segregation, says a report by the Academies Commission. (taken from BBC website)

Your thoughts, Mr Ezekiel, and does your school intend to have an entrance exam ?
The rising number of schools in England with academy status could fuel rather than improve social segregation, says a report by the Academies Commission. (taken from BBC website) Your thoughts, Mr Ezekiel, and does your school intend to have an entrance exam ? Sandy Wimpole-Smythe
  • Score: 0

3:25am Sun 13 Jan 13

Grunden Skip says...

Sandy Wimpole-Smythe wrote:
The rising number of schools in England with academy status could fuel rather than improve social segregation, says a report by the Academies Commission. (taken from BBC website)

Your thoughts, Mr Ezekiel, and does your school intend to have an entrance exam ?
The school would be "exclusive" and not take the local input, instead taking the poshy kids that would fulfill the expectations of Mr Ezekiel, as he will dictate policy from top to bottom with no dissent, Sandra.
[quote][p][bold]Sandy Wimpole-Smythe[/bold] wrote: The rising number of schools in England with academy status could fuel rather than improve social segregation, says a report by the Academies Commission. (taken from BBC website) Your thoughts, Mr Ezekiel, and does your school intend to have an entrance exam ?[/p][/quote]The school would be "exclusive" and not take the local input, instead taking the poshy kids that would fulfill the expectations of Mr Ezekiel, as he will dictate policy from top to bottom with no dissent, Sandra. Grunden Skip
  • Score: 1

10:13am Sun 20 Jan 13

EylanEzekiel says...

Sandy Wimpole-Smythe wrote:
The rising number of schools in England with academy status could fuel rather than improve social segregation, says a report by the Academies Commission. (taken from BBC website)

Your thoughts, Mr Ezekiel, and does your school intend to have an entrance exam ?
Hi Sandy,
Firstly, I agree that the growth in academies could fuel social segregation - and share the concerns about the way that change is happening in our education system. This is one of the reasons we are proposing a school that is accountable for and to the community - based on cooperative governance principles.

Our existing secondary schools in Oxford, and the planning around admissions and housing developments continue to create a very segregated city in Oxford - and our plans are to bring the varied communities of OX1 and OX4 together around a much needed school.

We will NOT have an entrance exam - or any academic selection.

I hope this answers some of your concerns Sandy.
Thanks for taking the time to comment on our proposal and I hope you'll take the time to learn more about our plans and perhaps to support our project.
[quote][p][bold]Sandy Wimpole-Smythe[/bold] wrote: The rising number of schools in England with academy status could fuel rather than improve social segregation, says a report by the Academies Commission. (taken from BBC website) Your thoughts, Mr Ezekiel, and does your school intend to have an entrance exam ?[/p][/quote]Hi Sandy, Firstly, I agree that the growth in academies could fuel social segregation - and share the concerns about the way that change is happening in our education system. This is one of the reasons we are proposing a school that is accountable for and to the community - based on cooperative governance principles. Our existing secondary schools in Oxford, and the planning around admissions and housing developments continue to create a very segregated city in Oxford - and our plans are to bring the varied communities of OX1 and OX4 together around a much needed school. We will NOT have an entrance exam - or any academic selection. I hope this answers some of your concerns Sandy. Thanks for taking the time to comment on our proposal and I hope you'll take the time to learn more about our plans and perhaps to support our project. EylanEzekiel
  • Score: -1

10:22am Sun 20 Jan 13

EylanEzekiel says...

Grunden Skip wrote:
Sandy Wimpole-Smythe wrote:
The rising number of schools in England with academy status could fuel rather than improve social segregation, says a report by the Academies Commission. (taken from BBC website)

Your thoughts, Mr Ezekiel, and does your school intend to have an entrance exam ?
The school would be "exclusive" and not take the local input, instead taking the poshy kids that would fulfill the expectations of Mr Ezekiel, as he will dictate policy from top to bottom with no dissent, Sandra.
Hi Grunden

Firstly, ONSchool would not be exclusive and would absolutely take children from OX1 and OX4 - it is the basis of our vision and ethos - for a local school. As to taking 'poshy' kids - and to dictating policy and having no dissent.... You clearly have not spent any time looking at our proposal and our group.

ONSchool will serve an area with upto 25% FSM and will admit children of all backgrounds - and will be part of the normal Oxfordshire County admissions process.

I do understand your concerns - but I hope you can see that, in the case of our proposal for ONSchool, they are unfounded.

I am happy to answer any further questions you might have - and hope you are open to the idea that our proposal might be driven by a genuine understanding of the local education landscape - and the very real need for more school places (200 by 2014 and over 930 by 2018) .

Thanks for taking the time to comment

Eylan
[quote][p][bold]Grunden Skip[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Sandy Wimpole-Smythe[/bold] wrote: The rising number of schools in England with academy status could fuel rather than improve social segregation, says a report by the Academies Commission. (taken from BBC website) Your thoughts, Mr Ezekiel, and does your school intend to have an entrance exam ?[/p][/quote]The school would be "exclusive" and not take the local input, instead taking the poshy kids that would fulfill the expectations of Mr Ezekiel, as he will dictate policy from top to bottom with no dissent, Sandra.[/p][/quote]Hi Grunden Firstly, ONSchool would not be exclusive and would absolutely take children from OX1 and OX4 - it is the basis of our vision and ethos - for a local school. As to taking 'poshy' kids - and to dictating policy and having no dissent.... You clearly have not spent any time looking at our proposal and our group. ONSchool will serve an area with upto 25% FSM and will admit children of all backgrounds - and will be part of the normal Oxfordshire County admissions process. I do understand your concerns - but I hope you can see that, in the case of our proposal for ONSchool, they are unfounded. I am happy to answer any further questions you might have - and hope you are open to the idea that our proposal might be driven by a genuine understanding of the local education landscape - and the very real need for more school places (200 by 2014 and over 930 by 2018) . Thanks for taking the time to comment Eylan EylanEzekiel
  • Score: -1

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