35 new free schools providing more than 22,000 places announced

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has approved 35 new free school applications, creating more than 22,000 additional school places for children across England.

Establishing new schools is a vital part of the government’s plan for education - boosting choice for parents and helping drive up standards across the board.

The announcement comes as a survey published on 30 September 2014 reveals the positive impact free school headteachers say their schools are having on raising the standard of education in neighbouring schools.

The representative survey shows how free schools are bringing new ideas and approaches to education:

  • 84% of free schools are collaborating with neighbouring schools, or plan to do so
  • 72% of headteachers say they are having a positive impact on schools in their local area - often by competition or collaboration
  • two-thirds offer an alternative to the national curriculum in some or all subjects
  • around half have an extended school day

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has approved 35 new free school applications, creating more than 22,000 additional school places for children across England.

Establishing new schools is a vital part of the government’s plan for education - boosting choice for parents and helping drive up standards across the board.

The announcement comes as a survey published on 30 September 2014 reveals the positive impact free school headteachers say their schools are having on raising the standard of education in neighbouring schools.

The representative survey shows how free schools are bringing new ideas and approaches to education:

  • 84% of free schools are collaborating with neighbouring schools, or plan to do so
  • 72% of headteachers say they are having a positive impact on schools in their local area - often by competition or collaboration
  • two-thirds offer an alternative to the national curriculum in some or all subjects
  • around half have an extended school day

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said:

Thanks to our plan for education more children in England have the opportunity to go to a good or outstanding school than ever before and free schools have been crucial to that change - with more than two-thirds of free schools meeting this high standard.

We are giving thousands more parents a choice of high-quality local schools that offer the excellent standard of education that all pupils deserve.

I am pleased to see how free schools are collaborating and supporting other nearby schools - and now 35 more of them will help even more young people fulfil their potential.

Free schools are brand new state-funded schools. They are independent of local council control and have the freedom to innovate and respond directly to the needs of parents and the local community.

Several of the schools - for example Pinner High in Harrow and SASH 2 in Slough - have been set up by a group of local headteachers who are taking advantage of the free school policy to spread their expertise and track record of success.

Free schools are predominantly located in areas with shortages of places. All mainstream schools approved are in areas with a need for high quality places. And more than a third of schools approved will be in the 30% most deprived communities in England.

There are currently 251 open free schools, and now a further 112 are in the pipeline. Once all of these schools are fully up and running they will provide around 200,000 extra school places to pupils across the country.

Commenting in the survey, Christine Inchley, headteacher of Stour Valley Community School in Suffolk, said:

All pupils are benefiting from free schools - not just those who attend them. One head of a local school has openly stated that the opening of our school made him work hard to raise standards at his own school.

The survey shows the majority of free schools surveyed - 57% - run an extended school day, while a further 15% plan to do so. The government has made it easier for all schools, not just free schools, to extend the length of the school day, which can help more pupils fulfil their potential. Pupils at Sir Thomas Fremantle Secondary School, a free school in Winslow, Buckinghamshire, remain in school until 4:30pm each day.

The survey also shows that around half of free school headteachers said they are using admissions procedures that are different to neighbouring schools. One fifth of these said they are giving priority for school places to disadvantaged pupils - helping pupils from all backgrounds fulfil their potential. Cramlington Village Primary School, a free school in Northumberland, prioritises disadvantaged pupils through its admissions process. The school has an above average number of these pupils, who Ofsted recognise are achieving well.

Four in 10 of headteachers responding said their term dates differ to their surrounding schools. Free schools such as the Boulevard Academy, a free school in Hull, Yorkshire, are using their freedoms to alter their term dates to help their pupils succeed. Boulevard has reduced the 6 week summer holiday and introduced Saturday learning to increase the amount of time pupils are taught.

The survey also finds that 82% of secondary free schools offer an enrichment programme - additional activities designed to boost the character and wider development of students. Sir Thomas Fremantle offers an extensive programme including use of 3D printing technology and a combined cadet force.

Among the schools announced around half are set to open in September 2015, are:

  • Harington School in Rutland, East Midlands, the first sixth-form college in the county. The 300-place school will be led in partnership by the Catmose Federation of academies and Oakham School, a nearby independent school. It will offer a traditional academic education to help students gain entry to Russell Group universities in an area where many students have to leave the county for post-16 education.
  • Ongar Academy in Ongar, Essex, the first secondary school in the town for more than a quarter of a century. It will offer a broad curriculum focusing on science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) to 800 students, including 200 sixth formers
  • Harrow Bilingual Primary School in Harrow, London, which will use the freedoms enjoyed by free schools to offer a bilingual English-French curriculum to up to 420 pupils.
  • Wynyard Church of England Primary School in Wynyard, Stockton-On-Tees, which will provide 420 places to cater for the expansion of house-building in the local area.
  • Pinner High School in Harrow, London, a new school set up by teachers from 8 successful local schools. Up to 1,152 pupils will benefit from their combined expertise and experience.

Since 2010, the Department for Education has received more than 1,300 applications for new schools across the country. An estimated 40,000 pupils are already attending a free school just 3 years after the first school opened its doors.

 

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said:

Thanks to our plan for education more children in England have the opportunity to go to a good or outstanding school than ever before and free schools have been crucial to that change - with more than two-thirds of free schools meeting this high standard.

We are giving thousands more parents a choice of high-quality local schools that offer the excellent standard of education that all pupils deserve.

I am pleased to see how free schools are collaborating and supporting other nearby schools - and now 35 more of them will help even more young people fulfil their potential.

Free schools are brand new state-funded schools. They are independent of local council control and have the freedom to innovate and respond directly to the needs of parents and the local community.

Several of the schools - for example Pinner High in Harrow and SASH 2 in Slough - have been set up by a group of local headteachers who are taking advantage of the free school policy to spread their expertise and track record of success.

Free schools are predominantly located in areas with shortages of places. All mainstream schools approved are in areas with a need for high quality places. And more than a third of schools approved will be in the 30% most deprived communities in England.

There are currently 251 open free schools, and now a further 112 are in the pipeline. Once all of these schools are fully up and running they will provide around 200,000 extra school places to pupils across the country.

Commenting in the  survey, Christine Inchley, headteacher of Stour Valley Community School in Suffolk, said:

All pupils are benefiting from free schools - not just those who attend them. One head of a local school has openly stated that the opening of our school made him work hard to raise standards at his own school.

The survey shows the majority of free schools surveyed - 57% - run an extended school day, while a further 15% plan to do so. The government has made it easier for all schools, not just free schools, to extend the length of the school day, which can help more pupils fulfil their potential. Pupils at Sir Thomas Fremantle Secondary School, a free school in Winslow, Buckinghamshire, remain in school until 4:30pm each day.

The survey also shows that around half of free school headteachers said they are using admissions procedures that are different to neighbouring schools. One fifth of these said they are giving priority for school places to disadvantaged pupils - helping pupils from all backgrounds fulfil their potential. Cramlington Village Primary School, a free school in Northumberland, prioritises disadvantaged pupils through its admissions process. The school has an above average number of these pupils, who Ofsted recognise are achieving well.

Four in 10 of headteachers responding said their term dates differ to their surrounding schools. Free schools such as the Boulevard Academy, a free school in Hull, Yorkshire, are using their freedoms to alter their term dates to help their pupils succeed. Boulevard has reduced the 6 week summer holiday and introduced Saturday learning to increase the amount of time pupils are taught.

The survey also finds that 82% of secondary free schools offer an enrichment programme - additional activities designed to boost the character and wider development of students. Sir Thomas Fremantle offers an extensive programme including use of 3D printing technology and a combined cadet force.

Among the schools announced, of which around half are set to open in September 2015, are:

  • Harington School in Rutland, East Midlands, the first sixth-form college in the county. The 300-place school will be led in partnership by the Catmose Federation of academies and Oakham School, a nearby independent school. It will offer a traditional academic education to help students gain entry to Russell Group universities in an area where many students have to leave the county for post-16 education.
  • Ongar Academy in Ongar, Essex, the first secondary school in the town for more than a quarter of a century. It will offer a broad curriculum focusing on science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) to 800 students, including 200 sixth formers
  • Harrow Bilingual Primary School in Harrow, London, which will use the freedoms enjoyed by free schools to offer a bilingual English-French curriculum to up to 420 pupils.
  • Wynyard Church of England Primary School in Wynyard, Stockton-On-Tees, which will provide 420 places to cater for the expansion of house-building in the local area.
  • Pinner High School in Harrow, London, a new school set up by teachers from 8 successful local schools. Up to 1,152 pupils will benefit from their combined expertise and experience.

Since 2010, the Department for Education has received more than 1,300 applications for new schools across the country. An estimated 40,000 pupils are already attending a free school just 3 years after the first school opened its doors.

 

     
   
   
 
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