“Year after year, finding a suitable site continues to be the single biggest issue for free schools. From a survey conducted by New Schools Network, 70% of open and pre-open free schools identified finding a site as the biggest challenge. Too often, local authorities are dragging their feet when it comes to releasing land for much-needed new schools that will benefit local families. If councils continue to obstruct and delay, the Government should step in and legislate to compel local authorities to release what is already publicly-owned land to new free school groups.
Free school news
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Poppyfield Primary Academy
"It is critical that schools and parents work together to ensure behavioural expectations are consistent. Collective buy-in provides stability and security for our young people, laying the foundation for deeper relationships to be developed between students, teachers, parents and the local community."
"This vital report by the National Audit Office (NAO) has highlighted the shocking deficit in provision for pupils with SEND. We welcome the acknowledgement to the outstanding work of free schools in filling the gap. The current wave of special schools will see another 37 approved to open. Yet, the NAO is correct that this has not gone far enough, there is still a desperate need for special schools. The new PM must deliver on his pledge to put SEND at the heart of the free school programme by committing to opening more."
Free Schools in the media
Cobham Free School junior pupils tested the AGP with a lap of honour and some sporting activities. They were joined by the school’s sixth formers, who are located in smart new state-ofthe-art accommodation at Munro House, located adjacent to the pitch.
The AGP has been developed from a partnership between CFS and CRSA. Funding for the facility was raised from a successful bid for community infrastructure levy from Elmbridge Borough Council, and generous donations from Sports England and London Marathon charities.
"It is brilliant that the Prime Minister has announced a new wave of free schools. The call to arms for parents, teacher and community groups focussed in areas that have not yet benefitted from the policy is welcome - revitalising the founding principles of the free school programme. We are looking forward to working with these groups across the country.
"Any organisation that receives public funding should be privy to scrutiny on their spending to ensure these vital resources are channelled where they are needed most. The success of MATs stems from their autonomy on decision making, but that model is reliant on an effective board. This must be made up of trustees with the right set of skills to able to hold a CEO to account. The Academy Ambassadors programme at NSN places highly experienced business leaders and professionals on MAT boards to bring their commercial acumen and strong financial stewardship."
"It is fantastic to see the Secretary of State reaffirm the importance of innovation in the free school policy, as well as to commit to more special and alternative provision free schools, as recommended in our recent report Free schools: the next 10 years.