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118 new schools to increase choice

27 August 2013

An additional 118 different varieties of school will open this September as part of the government’s plans to bring greater diversity to the education sector and, ultimately, to raise standards for all children and bridge the gap between the “haves” and “have-nots”.  The majority of the new institutions opening will be free schools. A further 93 are opening which will double the number of such schools which are currently open.  Critics of the policy point to the fact that free schools are not always located in areas which need more school places and that the policy is taking school funding away from meeting such need into a “pet project” for Michael Gove.

Despite these criticisms, recent Ofsted reports show free schools are making good progress and this, along with parental choice, will ultimately be how the success of the policy is judged when measured against the stated aims.  Given that the policy is under 3 years old, it is far too early to tell whether the aims will be satisfied or whether the policy was a costly mistake.

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