As the political debate over free schools hots up, with the coalition government split on the amount of regulation required, on whether teachers need to be qualified, and on whether the national curriculum should be taught, Channel 4 News put the key issues to the public.
One thousand Britons over 18 were asked for their opinions on free schools by ComRes.
Education Secretary Michael Gove may not take much comfort from the results which broadly went against his proposals for the new type of school that would have a relaxed policy on hiring teachers and much more autonomy over what gets taught.
Four in five (81 per cent) Britons agree it should be compulsory for free schools to employ qualified teachers.
Two thirds (67 per cent) of the British public agree that free schools should have to adhere to the national curriculum.
However the response of the great British public on the topic was slightly ambivalent. Though the majority of people wanted teachers to be qualified, they also thought it didn’t guarantee the quality of the teaching.
Three quarters (75 per cent) agree that qualifications do not necessarily guarantee a good standard of teaching.
Older Britons aged 65+ (83 per cent) are the most likely to agree that qualifications do not necessarily guarantee a good standard of teaching. By contrast, 69 per cent of 18-24 year-olds agree.