This week, the world famous Hallé Orchestra have announced plans to open a free school with a music specialism in Stoke-on-Trent.
Free schools have to prove that they are wanted by parents and students in their areas before they are allowed to be set-up.
17% of new free schools are special schools or offer 'alternative provision'.
Two thirds of free schools are in deprived parts of the country.
An innovative curriculum and more time in school has allowed The Boulevard Academy to open up new opportunities for children in Hull.
Here we ask and answer the most commonly asked questions about free schools...
Are free schools going where they are not needed?
Free schools are tackling both the shortage of places and the shortage of good places in England
Are free schools successful?
Free schools are twice as likely to be judged as ‘Outstanding’ in a like for like comparison with other state schools.
Are free schools religious?
21% of free schools are designated to a particular faith, compared to 34% of all state schools that have a religious character.
Students from Jubilee Academy – an alternative provision school in Harrow, London – have launched a new campaign to raise awareness of road safety.