Scholarship funding is available for these courses until at least March 2020. This means that any schools in category 5 and 6 areas – where children make the least progress and have poorest access to high-quality schools – are eligible for fully funded NPQ places at any level. It also means that all staff in a multi-academy trust which has at least one school in a category 5 or 6 area would be eligible for a fully funded place, across the trust.
"It’s fantastic to see almost 1.9 million more children in Good or Outstanding schools since 2010. The free school and academies reforms have transformed education and championed social justice across the country and the 444 open free schools have revitalised communities and delivered real opportunity for young people.
"It’s disappointing the Labour Against Private Schools campaign has mistakenly identified free schools alongside private and grammar schools. At NSN, we entirely agree on the importance of making sure all children have access to outstanding comprehensive schools. No primary or secondary free school selects on the basis of ability.
“It is no secret teacher recruitment and retention is one of the biggest issues facing the sector, but the fact that it is schools in disadvantaged areas struggling to recruit the most is particularly pernicious. If we are serious about tackling social injustice then we must do more to ensure our best teachers are placed in the schools that need them most. We agree with the Sutton Trust’s recommendation that pupil premium money would be well spent on recruiting and retaining great teachers.
Unity Howard, Deputy Director of NSN, said:
“We welcome the Labour Party’s call to empower local communities, which we have identified as a key priority to reinvigorate the free schools policy in our new report Free schools: the next 10 years.
“We welcome The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP’s comments, which show the importance of committing to communities being at the heart of the free school policy.
NSN is today calling on the Department for Education to allow parents and community groups who are running successful free schools to be allowed to take over other schools that are currently failing their pupils.
"Schools have always been at the heart of community-life and must have a meaningful role in the running and oversight of schools. Multi-academy trusts have been a force for good, transforming education in schools that have been left behind for too long. New Schools Network welcomes this report and agrees that schools working together is most likely to be successful in groups with joint governance, such as multi-academy trusts.