Over 70% set up by teaching profession
Free Schools charity, the New Schools Network today welcomed the 102 new Free Schools approved by Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove. The new schools join the 190 that have already opened, or will open this September and beyond, creating much needed additional school places across the country and addressing educational disadvantage.
The new schools will open from September 2014 onwards and, like last year, the majority are being set up from within the teaching profession, with 72% of groups coming from the schools sector itself.
The Free Schools approved are spread across the country and include:
· 32 primary schools
· 40 secondary schools
· 20 all-through schools
· 5 16-19 schools
· 5 14-19 schools
Of these, 16 are Alternative Provision schools, and 8 are Special Schools.
Natalie Evans, Director of the New Schools Network said:
“We are delighted that 102 new Free Schools have been approved to open, offering parents across the country the great schools that they and their children deserve. NSN has provided support to over two-thirds of those approved today, and we look forward to seeing these fantastic groups translate their vision into reality.
“The Free Schools movement has accelerated at an unprecedented pace, spurred on by the popularity of places and the increasing support from teachers. Regardless of what the teaching unions might claim, with over 70% of the new schools being set up by those working within the education sector itself, the reality is that their members are becoming the driving force of new Free Schools – particularly in disadvantaged areas where the need for good schools is even more pressing.”
Geographically, over half of the schools approved are in the South East, helping address the chronic shortage in school places. In London, 18 new primary Free Schools will be established. All other areas bar the North East will also benefit from new schools.
Natalie Evans went on to say:
“Over the last three years, NSN has worked with over a thousand groups of parents, teachers and community organisations providing support as they prepare their applications to the DfE. We are pleased to see a good spread of Free Schools approved across the country, but will be running local campaigns in areas such as the North East where the number of applications has been disappointing to highlight how people can get involved in setting up Free Schools and the opportunities they provide to improve local education provision.”
NSN will be visiting Middlesbrough, Blackpool, and Hull over the coming months, running community events, workshops and information sessions on how to set up a Free School in advance of the next three rounds of applications in September 2013, January 2014 and Spring 2014.
Natalie Evans will be available for interview. Please contact: Amy Leonard on 07960 116966.
Notes for Editors
1. Free Schools are state funded schools that are independent of local authority control. They have the freedom to decide the length of school day and term, their curriculum, teacher pay and how they spend their budgets.
2. NSN is an independent charity that provides support to groups wanting to set up Free Schools: www.newschoolsnetwork.org.uk