102 new free schools win approval

 

More than 100 new free schools have been approved to open in England over the coming years, Prime Minister David Cameron announced today.

The approvals will bring to almost 200 the total number of the new-style primary and secondary schools, which are state-funded but independent of local authorities.

They include a school in south London for vulnerable pupils, including teenage mothers and children expelled from mainstream schools; a sixth-form college in east Manchester supported by Manchester City football club; a "faith sensitive" co-ed in Oldham; and secondaries backed by universities in Birmingham and Plymouth.

Mr Cameron is expected to say that the free schools "symbolise everything that is good about the revolution that we are bringing to Britain's schools - Choice for parents. Power in the hands of teachers. Discipline. Rigour. High quality education in areas that are crying out for more good local schools".

Unveiling the list of 102 approved applications, most due to open in September 2013, Mr Cameron will hail the first wave of 24 free schools which are now completing their first year of teaching.

He will say: "The free schools revolution was built on a simple idea. Open up our schools to new providers. And use the competition that results to drive up standards across the system.

"Get behind parents, charities and committed teachers who are trying to make things better. And give them the freedoms they need to transform our education system.

"That is what we have been doing. And the message from the first two years is clear and unambiguous. Free schools work. And parents and teachers want more of them.

"So more is what they are going to get. The next wave of free schools begins with a further 50 opening this September. And today I can announce that an additional 102 free school applications have now been approved for opening in September 2013 and beyond."

Free schools are established by groups including parents, teachers, faith groups and charities and have powers to decide how they spend their budgets and set their own curriculum, teaching hours and term-times.

But teaching unions have claimed that they adversely affect neighbouring schools when they open in areas with no shortage of spaces. One free school, at Beccles in Suffolk, sparked controversy last month when it emerged it had received just 37 applications for 162 places when it opens in September.

The Department for Education said that 88% of the primaries approved today are in areas with a shortfall of places and 63% in an area with a severe need for more places.

Some 67% of mainstream schools approved are in the 50% most deprived communities in the country. And there will be five special schools and 12 "alternative provision" schools to educate vulnerable children.

Education Secretary Michael Gove said: "Free schools are driving up standards across the country. Now more and more groups are taking advantage of the freedoms we've offered to create wonderful new schools."

Some 34 of the schools approved today are in London, with 16 in the South East, 12 in the North West, 10 in the East of England, nine in the South West, seven each in the West Midlands and Yorkshire & Humber, four in the East Midlands and three in the North East.

Chris Keates, the general secretary of teaching union NASUWT, said: "Despite the spin put on this announcement by Downing Street, this is not a good news story.

"Free schools are opened at the expense of neighbouring schools whose already diminishing budgets will be top-sliced to fund them.

"They are not required to meet the entitlement of all children and young people to be taught by a qualified teacher.

"The curriculum is developed not to be broad and balanced and to meet the needs of all children and young people, but often on the basis of the personal preferences of the sponsors.

"Empty office blocks and other such premises will house some of the children.

"Free schools are not even required to have an intake of pupils before they open and taxpayers' money is committed.

"There is no evidence that free schools raise standards.

"Children and young people deserve better than to be used as guinea pigs in an ideological experiment."

PA

Sport
The giant banner displayed by Legia Warsaw supporters last night
football
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
News
news
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
people
Arts and Entertainment
Tulisa as a judge on the X Factor in 2012
tvLouis Walsh confirms star's return
Life and Style
fashionClothes shop opens on Bill Clinton Boulevard in Pristina
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Nursery Room Leader

Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: JOB DESCRIPTION - NURSERY ROOM LEADER...

Nursery Room Leader

Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: JOB DESCRIPTION - NURSERY ROOM LEADER...

Foundation Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: Early Years and Foundation stage Prim...

Primary Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: ***KS1 & KS2 Teachers needed for ...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone