Page last updated at 15:26 GMT, Monday, 1 February 2010

Montessori state school planned for London by 2012

Philip Bujak with children at a Montessori school
Mr Bujak hopes the school will open in 2012

The first state Montessori primary school is planned for east London with the target of opening in 2012.

Montessori private schools, which allow children to design their own study plan, are usually associated with affluent middle class families.

But Philip Bujak, of charity Montessori St Nicholas, which is funding the new school, said it will be free.

The organisation is in talks with two east London councils and hopes to open the school in 2012.

Mr Bujak would not name the councils.

But he said the organisation was willing to spend up to £8m building a school, which it would then hand to the council to run.

In return Montessori St Nicholas wants freedom to run the school according to its educational principles.

Mr Bujak said: "We will do it as soon as we can find a local authority to work with us.

"We are going to open it in an area of social and economic hardship.

"Once it is built it will be funded like any other school, but we will have management of teaching."

Montessori teaching was developed in the early 20th century by Italian doctor Maria Montessori.

In a Montessori classroom, children work largely on their own with special equipment designed to develop their sensory, numeric, language and practical skills.

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