Let me upset all those of you who think the state should carry on delivering services badly so we can all carry on grumbling about it but never fix it. As some of you are wedded to your poor badly run congested rip off state roads, how wedded are you to your state controlled LEA driven comprehensive schools?
I want everyone to go to an independent school. Of course I want free education for all, as we have today. I also want to end the huge divide between public school and state school. Money can buy rich families a better education. The way to tackle that is not to prevent all but the very very rich buying their way out of the state system, but to improve the free schools.
I would say to all state schools that they are to be freed of national and local government control. They could become educational charities, not for profit companies, teacher co-ops, ordinary companies or whatever they like. They would take over the buildings and equipment, and run them as they saw fit, as long as they carried on providing school places.They would only need state permission and face loss of their property or have to give the state its money back if they wanted to move out of education and do something else. Schools would rise, flourish and expand based on their own energies and success, attracting pupils as they showed how good they were. Bad schools which failed to attract pupils would change their management or close.
All pupils of school age would receive a grant to pay the fees, up to agreed maxima. This would be enough to guarantee a place at a good school. Some schools say they value the services the Local Education Authority provide. In that case they could buy them from the LEA out of the enhanced per pupil money they received. All the money would go through the school, instead of being routed via the LEA. That way they will buy the bureaucracy and back up they want, not be forced to take the bureaucracy Councils think they must have.