The coalition government has been accused of wasting £21 million on unnecessary education consultants, despite demanding that schools cut their budgets through the downturn.
According to the National Union of Teachers, multi-million pound payments were made to five consultancies in the past year, despite government pledges to reduce the amount spent on bureaucracy and administration.
According to the Daily Mirror, Christine Blower, general secretary of the union, told attendees at its annual conference in Harrogate that the fees were paid to consultants establishing free schools.
However, she warned: "The government has changed the policy to one of handing them over to unaccountable private companies.
"No more public money should be ploughed into this untried, unwanted experiment."
Although free schools are funded by the state, they have control over their own lesson plans and staff pay.
By 11th February 2011, the Department for Education had received proposals for 323 free schools, the first of which are due to open in September 2011.
Posted by Theo Foulds