The changing face of state-funded education

(Article for use in relevant publications, newspapers etc)

Ara School, a newly proposed IB world school, plans to open in the London Borough of Barnet in September 2016 to help counter the urgent shortage of school places

According to a report published by London Councils (the local government association for Greater London) on 16th July 2014: “By 2017/18 student numbers in London are expected to have increased by 18%. London needs to create 133,000 more primary and secondary school places by 2018. The shortfall is particularly acute for primary school places. Barnet is one of the boroughs with the largest shortfall and a predicted growth in primary school children of over 24% between 2012 and 2017.”

Ara School (www.araschool.org), a newly proposed International Baccalaureate world school, plans to open in the London Borough of Barnet in September 2016. The school plans to combat the severe shortage of schools places by first opening a Primary Years Programme school, then three years later Middle Years Programme and Diploma Programme sections will be added.

International Baccalaureate world schools in the UK are traditionally viewed as fully fee-paying independent schools. Ara School, however, will be fully state-funded and therefore will take on students at no cost to families. It will be opening under the government’s amended legislation which covers the opening of Free Schools. Free Schools are all-ability state-funded schools which are directly accountable to the Secretary of State. The legislation allows groups and organisations to open a state-funded school in local communities where there is a need for school places.

The Ara School group consists of International Baccalaureate trained teachers, educational specialists and parents, who are passionate about teaching and learning and who believe in the IB philosophy of an international education. According to the Ara School group, “the mission of Ara School is to ensure that each child realises their true potential through inquiry-based principles and become life-long global citizens in the twenty-first century. The vision of Ara School is to provide every student with the best free education.”

The Ara School director explains that “the linguistic, cultural, emotional and physical needs of students must be met and respected throughout the teaching and learning process and this can only be achieved through an International Baccalaureate curriculum. Recent studies indicate that an inquiry-based teaching framework using real-life experiences will support student learning. Student understanding and performance will be enhanced by incorporating a variety of teaching methodologies and strategies. Ara School will provide students with a genuine purpose for learning by ensuring the delivery of high quality, robust and engaging lessons. We believe that our vision is aligned with the International Baccalaureates’s vision on education.”