0370 270 6000

Local planners told to 'free space for free schools'

11 October 2012

The Government is increasingly exercising its powers under the Academies Act 2010 to coerce local authorities and planning departments to make sites available for free schools.

A number of free schools that were due to open have either struggled to secure suitable or permanent sites or for those that have, a dispute has arisen with the local authorities over planning. Where a local authority refuses to transfer a vacant school site (usually pursuant to a 125 year lease at peppercorn rent), the Government can use its statutory powers to “scheme” land in its own ownership. The Government can also exert pressure by ensuring planning authorities view applications by free schools more positively, with the communities and local government minister being able to override their decisions.

Increased pressure will ensure that more sites are made available, leading to more free schools being opened. The New School’s Network suggestion that the system through which sites are identified and bought is decentralised will also help achieve this.

Related opinions

Judicial Review of school exclusion reconsideration dismissed on all grounds

The recent case of R (on the application of A Parent) v Governing Body of XYZ School [2022] EWHC 1146 (Admin) provides some welcome and reassuring guidance to governing boards on the exclusion reconsideration process.

View blog

60 seconds with… Emma Hughes

With 19 HR experts now supporting over 500 schools and trusts across the country, in this edition of 60 seconds we sit down with Emma Hughes, who leads the team, to discuss what this significant milestone means to her.

View blog

Fines for unsafe removal of asbestos in schools

In order to reduce the risk of potential breaches, schools should follow this Health and Safety Executive guidance.

View blog

Asbestos: Still the UK’s number one occupational killer

A ResPublica report highlighted that asbestos continues to be the UK’s number one occupational killer, with nurses and teachers 3 to 5 times more likely to develop mesothelioma than the general UK population. The House of Commons Work & Pensions Select Committee is investigating how the HSE manages the continued presence of asbestos in buildings.

View blog

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up