These free schools are opening in areas of high deprivation across England, bringing innovative and successful schools to areas where they are most needed. The free school programme empowers communities to lead improvement in their local area as 60% of groups are from locally based groups.
Among the new schools are:
- Edgar Wood Academy will be a five forms of entry secondary school that will serve the pupils of Middleton and Heywood, part of the Rochdale borough. Rochdale is an area of high deprivation with a third of the population living within the 10% most deprived areas of the country (IMD 2015). The Altus Education Partnership is a new multi-academy trust based in Rochdale, and its founding school, Rochdale Sixth Form College, has been named as the highest ranked college for value added performance in the country for the past five years. The academy’s education plan will equip every young person with the educational outcomes, aspirations and experiences to progress to higher education or good employment.
- BOA Stage and Screen Production, building off the successful Birmingham Ormiston Academy, will offer a highly specialised education in the technical and production side of the performing arts for pupils in the West Midlands. This will cover film, television, online platforms and the theatre, and students will have the opportunity to experience project-based learning while working with a range of highly regarded creative partners.
- The Mead Educational Trust is a multi-academy trust of 7 primary and secondary schools based in Leicester. Its flagship school, Rushey Mead, has been rated as the best school in Leicester and was the first non-faith secondary academy in the city. It is also in the top 5% for Progress 8 scores nationally. The opening of its Wave 13 free school, Brook Mead Academy, will mean that even more secondary school pupils in Leicester are able to access a highly rigorous and academic curriculum in a diverse and vibrant setting.
Luke Tryl, Director of New Schools Network, said:
“Today’s announcement is great news for families across the country. These approvals mean that some of the areas most desperately in need of greater educational opportunity will soon have innovative and successful new schools opening their doors to the community.
“The range of different schools approved today demonstrates that the free schools policy continues to lead the way in driving innovation across education in England. We congratulate all the approved schools and look forward to helping them through the pre-opening process.”