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79 New Free Schools and UTCs to open

11/10/2011 Kelly
The Department for Education (DfE) has approved 79 new Free Schools and University Technical Colleges (UTCs), people looking for teaching jobs may be interested to hear.

In an announcement yesterday (October 10th), the DfE said that the state-funded institutions will be set up by teachers, universities, charities, employers and other groups.

Thirteen UTCs have been given the green-light alongside 55 mainstream and 16 to 19 Free Schools. There are an additional three technical colleges and eight Free Schools currently in the process of setting up.

Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, said: "The people who are driving Free Schools and UTCs are true pioneers. They are leading a revolution in the education system."

He added that the new schools would give parents more choice in their children's education and help drive up standards in schools.

The government considers UTCs to be key to its drive to provide school leavers with the knowledge and skills demanded by industry.

UTCs will receive commercial backing from employers such as BlackBerry, Rolls-Royce and Proctor & Gamble.

Unions were critical of the announcement however, claiming that there was a danger that they would divert funding away from existing schools and colleges.

There are also fears that the creation of the technical colleges could lead to a two-tier system in which mainstream education is viewed as superior to the 'vocational' or 'technical' education on offer at the colleges.

Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said there was a big risk that the plans would create a "patchwork system of providers" that could undermine education provision.

Funded by the government, Free Schools are similar to Academies in that they give more freedom to teachers and governors in the way schools are run.

One such Free School to open soon is the Brighton Bilingual Primary School which will teach children in English 50 per cent of the time and in Spanish for the other 50 per cent.

Posted by Alan DouglasADNFCR-2164-ID-800754727-ADNFCR
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