Free school skips tests in first year

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THE Government has come under fire after one of its flagship free schools did not appear in the league tables after failing to run the national curriculum tests in its first year of state funding.

Maharishi Free School in Ormskirk, Lancashire, recorded 0 per cent for both English and maths key stage two standard assessment tests. It had 11 pupils eligible and does not appear in the national table of schools with the lowest performance.

The school, which used to be fee-paying before it joined the free school programme, failed to sit the tests.

National Union of Teachers’ general secretary Christine Blower said the fact the Maharishi Free School failed to enter pupils for the tests “clearly demonstrates the inability of the Secretary of State to adequately oversee what is going on in these schools.”

She called for local councils to be given oversight into how public money is being spent in free schools.

A Department for Education spokesman said: “We have written to inform the school it must administer the tests.”