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Lack of parent interest leads to cancellation of free school

23 July 2012

Ministers have confirmed that a free school which was preparing to open in September has been withdrawn due to lack of parental demand.

The founders of The Newham Free Academy in East London claimed to have "developed large community links in Newham with many parents and families worried about secondary school provision in their local area” but seemingly could not garner the necessary interest to satisfy the Department for Education that there was sufficient demand.

Pupil numbers are critical to the success of free schools as funding depends on the number of pupils a school attracts.

The news will support the claim by the critics of the free schools programme who claim that it is not sufficiently geared up to support areas of need, especially as this follows on from news last month that Beccles Free School in Suffolk received just 37 applications for children to join the school.

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