Unity Howard, Director of the New Schools Network said:
“I welcome the government’s intention to reform the planning system and allow schools to be built quicker in areas of need.
“Today, there are 271 free schools stuck in the planning and development stage. Of which, 140 have been in pre-opening for around 40 months, this is far too long. Free school leaders consistently voice their frustration at a system which is both complex and time consuming.
“I hope that the government keeps to this commitment to streamline the process to allow local communities set up a free school. It is unacceptable that parents have no choice but to send their children to a failing school, every child deserves a good school place and this planning reform is a step closer to achieving it.”