New Schools Challenge visits Leicestershire

The New Schools Network launched the latest phase of its New Schools Challenge last week with a series of events in Leicester and Leicestershire. Designed to gather the views of parents and teachers on education in the area, the Challenge events also gave an opportunity to find out more about Free Schools.

During our stay in the area we spent two days speaking with local residents at Carillon Court Shopping Centre in Loughborough and the Highcross Mall in the centre of Leicester, and also met with a number of groups looking to set up a new school.

Natalie Evans, Director of the New Schools Network commented:

“Leicester & Leicestershire have some great schools but there are clearly still challenges to be met. With 600 new places needed in Leicester City alone the Free Schools programme represents a chance for communities in the region to think again about the type of school they want to see and we were pleased to meet with parents, teachers, governors and existing schools who were interested in finding out more about setting up a new school.”

People can still give their views at www.newschoolschallenge.org. The New Schools Challenge will visit major towns and cities across England where new schools could help address shortages in school places, improve educational standards or create greater choice for local parents.

To date one new Free School has opened in the county with another approved by the Department for Education to open in the region from September 2014 onwards. This is out of nearly 300 new schools either open or approved across the entire country. With the region suffering from lower than average educational standards, the New Schools Network wants to encourage even more groups to come forward to help improving education locally.

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