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News: 100 new schools approved

Last week Education Secretary Michael Gove announced that 102 new ‘free schools’ have been approved. Many people aren’t really aware of what free schools are because they are a relatively new concept introduced after the last election. Free schools are free to attend, non-selective (no entrance exam) and paid for by the taxpayer but not controlled by the local education authority. There are set up in reponse to what local people say they want from a school and what will work for their community. The Free Schools Programme means that teachers, parents, businesses and charities can come together to create a school which really works for the children in their area. If anyone wants to set up a free school they have to put forward a proposal to the Department of Education.

The latest round of free school approvals means there will be 200 primary and secondary free schools, 50 schools will open this September with the rest to follow in 2013 and beyond.

The supporters of free schools hope they will drive up standards and allow more freedom in the way children are educated. Some people worry that free schools only benefit those with the time and money to set up such schools and that they will divert much needed money away from other schools.

You can find out more about free schools on the Department for Education website.


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