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News - 28 May 2013

102 New Free Schools have been approved

From 2014, 102 new free schools are set to open after being granted approval from the Department for Education.

England currently has 81 free schools, with another 109 set to open in September.
Labour and some teaching unions say the expansion is failing to address a lack of primary places.

A report by the National Audit Office in March found 240,000 more places would be needed in primary schools alone by 2014-15. Of the 102 approved free schools now set to open from 2014 onwards, just 33 are primary.

The DfE said this latest wave of free schools would create 50,000 pupil places.

Education Secretary Michael Gove said: "There are many innovators in local communities set on raising standards of education for their children.

"I am delighted to approve so many of their high-quality plans to open a free school.
Free schools are extremely popular with parents and are delivering strong discipline and teaching excellence across the country."

But Christine Blower, general secretary of the NUT, said its research suggested almost £19m had been spent on schools that have yet to open.

"Less than a third of the approved free schools are primary schools, and... 45% of the new schools will be located in London, which by common agreement already boasts the best schools in the country.

Shadow schools minister Kevin Brennan said: "David Cameron and Michael Gove should be delivering for children but instead they're ignoring the crisis in primary places and setting up new schools where there is already a surplus of school places.

A spokesman for the DfE said: "We are spending £5bn by 2015 on creating new school places - more than double the amount spent by the previous government in the same timeframe.

Lavinia Newman, founder of ABDS comments:
“Free Schools can be set up by groups of parents, teachers, charities, businesses, universities, trusts, religious or voluntary groups, but are funded directly by central government. The schools are established as academies, independent of local authorities and with increased control over their curriculum, teachers' pay and conditions, and the length of school terms and days.”

If you need any help and advice with Free Schools, Academy Schools or Charities, contact Lavinia Newman or Peter Ham now to discuss how ABDS can help bring their experience to these matters.

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail:

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