Prime minister David Cameron and education secretary Michael Gove today (July 12th) announced a new wave of Free Schools will be opened in the coming years.
In total, 102 new Free Schools have been approved to open in 2013 and beyond. This marks a 50 per cent year-on-year increase.
Most of the 102 new schools will be mainstream. There will be 40 primaries, 28 secondaries, ten all-throughs, one 5-7, one 14-19 and five 16–19 schools.
Free Schools are all-ability state-funded schools established by committed teachers, charities, parents and education experts in response to demands from the local community.
The first such education facilities opened in September 2011 and a further 50 will be following suit this September.
Of the new batch announced today, the majority will be located in deprived areas or in locations where there is a high demand for places.
They include one to be run by the secondary teachers behind the Cuckoo Hall Academy chain and a primary school led by the group responsible for the Big Issue in Manchester.
Speaking from the Woodpecker Hall Primary Academy Free School in north London, Mr Cameron said: "Free Schools work and parents and teachers want more of them.
"We are backing the parents, charities and committed teachers who are trying to make things better."
His colleague Mr Gove added: "Free Schools are driving up standards across the country. Now more and more groups are taking advantage of the freedoms we've offered to create wonderful new schools."
Those taking up teaching jobs in Free Schools have more autonomy because they are not controlled by town halls or government bureaucrats.
This gives these teachers the freedom to decide on aspects of school life such as the length of the school day and term, the curriculum, staff rewards and money distribution.
Posted by Alan Douglas