Philosopher bids to open school
The master of a controversial new private university has applied to open a new free school in London, it has been announced.
Philosopher AC Grayling, who heads the New College of the Humanities (NCH) university, is part of a bid to open the New School of the Humanities (NSH) in Camden, north London.
The university has been labelled "elitist" by critics as a majority of the first students accepted to the £18,000-a-year institution are from private schools.
Professor Grayling has faced protests over the NCH, which opened in Bloomsbury, central London, in September. In June 2011, protesters set off a smoke bomb at a talk he was giving at a bookshop in the capital.
The proposed state-funded free school will take students aged between 11 and 18 and will be a "co-educational free school for students of all backgrounds".
Professor Grayling said: "Personal enrichment is a highly important educational value, and New School of the Humanities will provide a thorough grounding in the curriculum while allowing students to develop as imaginative and well-rounded individuals.
"We are each neighbours, friends, travellers, readers; we need to be aware of the story of humankind, its problems and possibilities, the debates and discoveries that have shaped it, and how they can be part of our own lives."
The school would develop a centre of excellence in the humanities and the curriculum will extend through Key Stage 4 to the sixth-form where a variety of humanities subjects will be available at AS and A2 Level together with a core curriculum including scientific literacy.
Mark Malley, chief executive of Bellevue Education Group, co-founders of the proposed school, said: "The New School of the Humanities will have a humanities-focused curriculum, enabling students to become well-educated individuals with a profound appreciation of the society in which they live."
A decision is expected from the Department of Education in May.