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News - 5 August 2013

Three-quarters of free schools 'good or outstanding'

Inspections of England's first 24 free schools show they are performing in line with other state schools, with 75% rated good or outstanding by Ofsted. Four were considered outstanding, 14 were good, five required improvement and one was deemed inadequate.

Ofsted data shows that, on 31 March, 79% of all state schools in England were good or outstanding, 19% required improvement and 3% were inadequate.

A spokesman for the Department for Education said the free schools were all inspected under Ofsted's new "tougher" inspection framework, introduced in January last year.

Lavinia Newman, founder of ABDS comments:
“Free schools are state-funded and independent of local authority control. They have the freedom to decide the length of school day and term, their curriculum, teacher pay and how they spend their budgets. Currently 81 free schools are operating and a further 200 are planning to open from September and beyond. ”

Education Secretary Michael Gove said the Ofsted inspection results were further evidence of the high standards at free schools, despite critics saying they are divisive because they are centred disproportionately in middle-class neighbourhoods and contribute to creating a two-tier system.

Michael Gove:
"Free schools are giving all parents, not just the rich, the choice of a high-quality school with great teaching and strong discipline."

Natalie Evans, director of the New Schools Network, said the inspections showed a "strong set of results" for the first free schools.

"These schools are pioneers in every sense and to achieve a good or outstanding Ofsted judgement in just two years, having set up a school from scratch, is very impressive."

If you need any help and advice with Free School or Academy Schools, 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.
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