Critics claim many free schools will offer little benefit to the disadvantaged as initially proposed, but have been established by "sharp-elbowed, well-off parents" in affluent areas for middle-class children. It is also feared that free schools in poorer areas will drain other schools of high-attaining children with the most advantaged backgrounds, creating two-tier education.
Yeah? That might well be true, Daniel—and do you know why? It is because the poor tend to be ruled by Labour Councils—and Labour-dominated local authorities have been fighting the Free Schools with all their might.
Some readers may know that your humble Devil has been tangentially involved with a Free School effort based in a definitely not "affluent area" of south London—in a borough most certainly not dominated by "sharp-elbowed, well-off parents" or "middle-class children" from the "the most advantaged backgrounds".
The efforts to set up a Free School in this borough—a Free School that specifically wants to cater to the poorest and most disadvantaged children in the community (even if it were not subject to precisely the same admission policies as comprehensives)—have been consistently and viciously opposed by the Labour council. Not only this, but the council has actively supported the various vested interests—such as the NUT—that oppose Free Schools in the area.
The Free School has been advised that nearby Tory Council areas—such as Westminster or Hammersmith—would welcome this organisation with open arms, that sites might be found and support given. The contrast with the attitude of this borough's Labour overlords could not be more stark.
You see, when even the egregious and idiotic Melissa Benn can (inadvertently) admit that Free Schools might actually provide a better education, you know that those who oppose them are simply evil fucks protecting their vested interests.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why Free Schools will continue to be set up in more "affluent areas": because affluent people tend to vote for Tories, and the Tories are ready and willing to support Free Schools and educational choice.
Whereas the poor tend to vote for Labour: and Labour councils would prefer to keep their citizens poor and ill-educated because, were this to change, the voters realise that Labour might not have their best interests at heart.