The Guardian is reporting that home secretary Theresa May has announce that elected police and crime commissioners should be given the power to set up their own free schools to support “troubled children”.
The move will be part of a major expansion of the powers of police and crime commissioners into the areas of youth justice, probation and court services to be proposed after their second set of elections take place in May.
The home secretary said that the next set of PCCs should “bring together the two great reforms of the last parliament – police reform and school reform” to set up or work with “alternative provision free schools to support troubled children and prevent them falling into a life of crime.”
May cited the example being pioneered by Adam Simmonds, the Northamptonshire Conservative police and crime commissioner, who is to open a 1,200-strong free school with a “crime specific curriculum” this September on the site of the county’s police headquarters at Wooton Hall.
Simmonds told the Guardian that his free school was an “early intervention” initiative that did not just take “troubled children” but will take “young people on the cusp of crime or interested in joining the police”.
It will include forensic science within its curriculum, which will also stress citizenship, volunteering and have close links with the police and criminal justice system. It is already oversubscribed with 800 applications for this September to fill the first year group. The school, which is to take children from 4 to 18, is part of Simmonds’ “taking a generation out of crime” initiative…
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