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The true cost of free schools?

31 August 2012

The government’s flagship free schools policy is being questioned again on the grounds of costs incurred for those projects which do not reach completion – such as the One in a Million Free School in Bradford. Labour has stated that over £2m has been wasted on projects which were not needed on capacity grounds or not wanted by the local community. The Department for Education’s response is that money is not being wasted and that new schools bring new increased opportunities for children and their communities are being created at a greater rate than ever before.

It is still very early days for the free schools project and the true costs and indeed the benefits cannot be properly assessed until results on performance are available. The key measure will be whether evidence can be found that the gap in educational achievement is narrowed for those disadvantaged children which the policy was implemented to support.

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