Parliament approves 130 new free schools

The Department for Education has approved applications for 131 new schools, in a move which is expected to create more than 69,000 places.

According to an official statement, the schools will be led by high-performing institutions, including a grammar-school-led multi-academy trust (MAT) and the largest state boarding school in the country, demonstrating how existing high-performing schools can help raise attainment more widely, as set out in the government’s
education proposals.

The news comes as free schools are one of the highest performing groups of non-selective state schools, with 29 per cent of those inspected rated outstanding by Ofsted. Since 2014, more than 80 per cent of mainstream free schools have been approved in areas where there was a need for more school places, while others are opened in response to parental demand to create competition and drive up standards where existing provision is not adequate.

Education Secretary Justine Greening said: “We need schools that can bring out the best in every single child no matter where they’re growing up, how much their parents earn, or however different their talents are.

“That’s why these new schools are so important - they give us the school places we need for the future, and they also give parents more choices to find a great school place in their area that’s right for their child.”

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