++ Free schools much more likely to improve to Outstanding than community schools ++
++ Across the country, free schools are significantly more likely to be Outstanding ++
Ofsted’s latest management information highlights the speed at which Free Schools are improving, with 16 out of the 23 free schools to be re-inspected achieving either a Good or Outstanding grade.
What’s more, free schools are considerably more likely to move from a Requires Improvement or Inadequate rating to Outstanding than community schools, with 17% making this leap in improvement, compared to 4% of local authority run schools.
The data shows that four free schools have moved from Requires Improvement to Outstanding since their last inspection:
- Nishkam Primary School Birmingham - A Sikh faith designated primary school in Birmingham which opened in 2011. The school was established by a faith group and is part of the Nishkam School Trust, with a focus on engaging pupils of all the faiths and cultures in their community, as well as teaching daily philosophy lessons.
- Dixons Music Primary - A mixed mainstream primary school in Bradford, which opened in 2012. The school was set up by Dixons Academy Trust which runs seven other schools in the city, including two other free schools. It will cater to 420 pupils at capacity and has a specialism in music, which is used to help raise standards of achievement across the curriculum. Pupils take part in a wide range of music and performance activities, including 1:1 tuition and group sessions, with all given the opportunity to learn an instrument.
- Barrow 1618 Church of England Free School - A small, rural, Church of England primary school in Shropshire. The school, which opened in 2012, was established by a group of local parents. The school’s curriculum has been designed to meet the needs of the local community, taking advantage of its location and providing pupils with the opportunity to learn in the surrounding outdoor area. The school aims to develop the skills of its pupils by ensuring that pupils learn by taking part in real life projects.
- Enfield Heights Academy - A mixed primary school in Enfield, London, with a Christian ethos and only 25 pupils per year. The school opened in 2012, and will serve 175 pupils when full, with a strong English and Maths focus to prepare children for later education and the rest of their lives. The school runs an extended day during which booster classes will be held to ensure no children lag behind their peers.
Two schools also moved from Special Measures to Good: Langley Hall and Perry Beeches III:
- Langley Hall - A primary school in Langley, Berkshire, which opened in 2011, and will cater for 364 pupils when full. The curriculum focuses on creativity and life skills as well as emphasising the core subjects of numeracy and literacy. While they do use the National Curriculum, History, Geography and Science is delivered through the International Primary Curriculum. In 2015, more parents applied for reception places than any other school in Slough.
- Perry Beeches III The Free School - A secondary school for 11-18 year olds in Birmingham City Centre. It will serve 620 pupils when full, focussing on a business-like approach to learning with emphasis on enterprise and citizenship
Toby Young, Director of the New Schools Network said:
“It is encouraging to see how quickly free schools are able to respond if Ofsted tells them they could be doing better. Overall, free schools are significantly more likely to be rated as Outstanding than the national average – 28%, compared to 19% of council-run schools – which is partly why they continue to be so popular with parents.”