Responding to the Prime Minister's announcement, which launches the pre-registration and criteria for wave 14 submissions, NSN Director Unity Howard said:

"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.

"Free schools have the potential to transform educational standards in the areas that most need it, but setting a cap of 30 schools for the wave just doesn’t go far enough. This announcement means that some communities will get the opportunity to offer places at a great new school, while far too many will continue to languish with no prospect of improvement. 

"As well as a call for mainstream schools, it is encouraging to hear the Government reaffirm a commitment to special and alternative provision highlighted in the announcement. The Government must show it is serious about investing in the futures of vulnerable young people by ensuring that some of these schools come through the process. Not a single new AP free school has been approved since 2017, and the current special and AP wave is inviting only 2 bids for AP."

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