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Spending review – raising standards or filling gaps in education?

27 June 2013
The spending review has provided some relief to the education sector as the schools budget was protected. Alongside that protection was funding for a further 180 free schools, 20 university technical colleges and 20 studio schools. This forms part of the ongoing policy to bring greater diversity to the education sector and raise standards through a greater tailoring of provision to meet the varied needs of communities. The funding for these new forms of provision may assist in meeting the shortages of places in certain areas of the country but may lead to continued concerns about the impact of the policy in raising standards and narrowing the gap and whether free schools are the most effective way of providing new places given that local authorities have little or no role in the process. Given that spending on these projects is not due to begin until after the next election, it will be interesting to see whether a new government would make changes to the allocation of this funding.

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