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NSN News

Wed 3 October 2018

In her speech at the Conservative Party Conference, Theresa May stated that the Government would build more free schools to raise standards and improve parental choice. In addition, Damian Hinds confirmed continued investment in free schools.

The announcement follows last week’s provisional Key Stage One and Phonics results which showed free schools were once again the highest performers at these stages. Last year, free schools were also the top performing type of school at GCSE and had the highest proportion of students gaining AAB at A-Level across the state-funded sector.

Mon 24 September 2018

Mark Lehain, Interim Director, said: “We know that with a rising school population we will need more school places across the country, and free schools are the best means of meeting this need. They are the most cost effective way to create new school places, and are on course to provide more than 400,000 places in areas of need. Without free schools these places would be created by expanding existing schools, placing further pressure on schools that are already at capacity. 

Thu 29 March 2018

Mark Lehain, Interim Director, said:

"Combined with today’s announcement regarding the approval of 14 new special free schools, it reassures me that the free schools programme continues to be a priority for the government. With the next window of free schools likely to open in due course, NSN will continue to play an integral role in helping to drive up the standard of education across the country. I look forward to continuing to work with you over the coming months." 

Fri 23 March 2018

The Trustees of New Schools Network today announced that Toby Young has resigned. Toby has concluded that the media attention his continuing presence at the helm of NSN is attracting has become a distraction from the vital work it is doing and, for that reason, he has decided to step down. The Trustees will be announcing the appointment of an Interim Director in due course. The Trustees are grateful for Toby's work during his time here and wish him well in his future endeavours.

Wed 15 November 2017

Since the first free schools opened in 2011, critics have been claiming that they increase social segregation because they cater exclusively to white, middle class, English children. But the EPI report says that free schools have an above average number of non-white children and children whose first language is not English.

Thu 12 October 2017

They have drawn level with Converter Academies, which were in first place last year, and outperformed all other types of school.

School Type

Average Progress 8 Score

Free schools


Thu 5 October 2017

Free schools are already producing outstanding exam results, with the most recent Key Stage 1 data showing free schools outperforming all other school types. In August, free schools posted some of the best results in the country at GCSE and A level, with the King’s College London Mathematics School, a free school in Lambeth, topping the A level league table.

Thu 28 September 2017

For the third year running, free schools have outperformed all other state school types across every subject at Key Stage 1.

School Type

Number of schools

Number of eligible pupils