Our new Government is bringing in Free schools in the UK based of the Charter school model from the US. To us teachers it seems to be a way that parents with sharp elbows can set up their own schools and keep out kids from poorer families leaving the state run schools to mop up what is left. To make sure they succeed the Free schools will not be tied to the British National curriculum and they can set their own pay and conditions for teachers (currently all English and Welsh teachers are on the same national pay scale). Are Charter schools succesful in the US? What are the advantages what are the disadvantages? All we hear from our Government is how wonderful they are.