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start of term for 55 new free schools

3 September 2012

The start of term provides good news for the government’s flagship policy as 55 new free schools have opened. This triples the number of free schools open and builds on the 24 that opened last year. The plans for next year are for 114 free schools to open, but as the last few weeks have shown, not all approved free schools will open.

There also appears to be growing support for the policy as Labour’s education minister supported the program where additional schools were needed and wanted. Again, this indicates that the policy must deliver, and more importantly be seen to deliver, improved educational outcomes for those disadvantaged communities which it was intended to support. That must be the key criteria in designing projects and for Department for Education support for those projects. This needs to be clarified to provide the focus which this policy needs to succeed.

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