The announcement follows strong support from the Prime Minister, who last week confirmed the Government would build more free schools in a bid to ensure every child has access to a good school.
Free schools are targeted in areas of explicit need and have provided more than 400,000 school places to date. They are cheaper than previous school building programmes and are some of the highest performing state schools in the country. They recently topped the Key Stage One and Phonics tables for the fourth year in a row, while last year they were the best performers at GCSE and A level.
Mark Lehain, Interim Director, New Schools Network:
“It’s great to hear the Secretary of State come out so strongly in favour of free schools. We know how effective the policy has been to date, with free schools being more likely to be judged Outstanding by Ofsted, producing fantastic results across all school stages, and proving popular with parents and students.
“Damian Hinds is right to highlight how the free school programme empowers parents, teachers and communities, giving them the opportunity to create a new school that specifically targets their local challenge. This is the dream behind the programme, and it’s one we see replicated across the country.
“Free schools are being set up in areas of explicit need, providing a high quality education and creating school places in the face of rising pupil numbers. The policy is crucial to ensuring that every child has a good local school.”