Lewisham Free School campaign

A group of parents in Lewisham is campaigning to create a Free School in the borough, hoping to address the shortage of primary places by creating a parent-run institution, teaching the Montessori method.

Little more than a month in to their campaign, the "Primrose House" group doesn't yet have a proposed site or a detailed plan, but does have a Facebook group.

Lewisham Council has failed to provide an adequate number of primary school places and suffered setbacks to its plans for Lewisham Bridge and Gordonbrock schools, meaning the problem will become more acute.

The government's argument is that parents should have the power to address exactly these kinds of failures by establishing their own, publicly-funded schools. Critics of the idea say that they divert resources from the rest of the system, could facilitate selection by proxy, that Free Schools in Sweden have not delivered significant improvements in educational standards and that recruiting and training good teachers is the key factor in successful systems.

For more information about the Montessori method, click here or play spot the odd one out on this list of famous Montessorians.

With thanks to Tressilliana.