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55 Free Schools to open their doors next term

03/09/2012 Joanna
The government has announced today (September 3rd) that 55 Free Schools are to open their doors when the new school year begins this month.

This is more than twice as many as last year, when 24 establishments opened for business.

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.

They are one of the flagship policies backed by the education secretary Michael Gove, and the minister said he believes the latest wave of Free Schools will be "equally successful" as the first batch.

As well as this year's openings, in July it was revealed that over 100 new Free Schools had been approved to open in 2013 and beyond.

Speaking at the time, prime minister David Cameron told reporters that those in teaching jobs are relishing the opportunity to have an influence in raising education standards.

"Free Schools work and parents and teachers want more of them," he said.

"We are backing the parents, charities and committed teachers who are trying to make things better."

Within the Free School model, teachers are given the freedom to decide on various aspects of school life including the length of the school day and term, the curriculum, staff rewards and financial distribution.

As well as giving those in teacher jobs more freedom, Mr Gove believes Free Schools provide pupils with a higher standard of education than they might otherwise have had.

"Every child should have the choice to go to an excellent local school," he said.

"These new schools have been set up by idealistic people who are determined to give parents the kind of choice that only the rich can currently afford. The first 24 Free Schools are enormously popular and I expect this second wave to be equally successful."

Posted by Theo FouldsADNFCR-2164-ID-801441329-ADNFCR
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