0370 270 6000

Expanding free schools

24 May 2013

The DfE has announced a further 102 free schools will open from 2014, offering 50,000 further places.

Interestingly 70 of the 102 are supported by teachers, schools or education organisations when the DfE considered parents would be the main supporters. Is the programme being used to meet demand or are teachers becoming more involved with the free school programme than previously thought?

The answer’s unclear but teachers may become enthused due to the greater autonomy for teaching in free schools. One of the 102 will offer 'cross-subject projects' rather than traditional classroom learning, requiring teachers to teach a topic engaging different disciplines eg investigating wildlife from a mathematical, scientific and geographical perspective. Such autonomy goes to the heart of the free schools project.

Whilst the response from prospective parents has been positive there will be criticism of this unorthodox way of learning, which has its roots in the USA.

This is another chapter in the controversial free schools project debate: expect more to come.

Related opinions

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

Head of Education, Mark Blois celebrates 25 years of being an education lawyer

Mark Blois, Browne Jacobson’s national Head of Education, is marking a notable anniversary, an incredible 25 years as an education lawyer.

View blog

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up