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.
They are more likely to be oversubscribed, and are more likely to be judged outstanding by Ofsted. So far, the policy has created more than 400,000 school places, and done so 29% cheaper than the previous school building programme.
Mark Lehain, Interim Director, New Schools Network.
"I'm delighted to hear that the Government has reaffirmed its commitment to the free school programme. We know that with a rising school population we will need more school places across the country, and free schools are the most cost effective means of meeting this need.
"Free schools are explicitly targeted in areas of basic need and poor performance, so the policy really is reaching those often forgotten in education policy. Having set up Bedford Free School, I know first-hand how difficult opening a free school is; equally, I know how rewarding it is to see local families able to access the top quality education that they so deserve."