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.
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.
They have drawn level with Converter Academies, which were in first place last year, and outperformed all other types of school.
Average Progress 8 Score
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.
For the third year running, free schools have outperformed all other state school types across every subject at Key Stage 1.
Number of schools
Number of eligible pupils
NSN has worked with over two-thirds of the 400 or so free schools that have opened to date so it has a wealth of experience in this area. Its new Delivery Programme has been designed to comply with the Department for Education and the Education and Skills Funding Agency guidance, and focuses on the areas where free schools need the most help, such as finding suitable sites.
Among the new schools opening will be:
Reach Academy Feltham, a free school that opened in 2012 in one of London’s most deprived areas, saw 96% of its students get grade 4 or above in English and maths (the equivalent of C or above in the old system). In addition, 80% obtained 5 or above in English and 9% got the top grade in maths (grade 9), three times the predicted national level. Overall, 57% obtained the EBacc, more than twice last year’s national level.