What is a Free School?
In June 2010, the Government invited groups of parents, teachers, charities and local communities to develop proposals to set up a new type of school. Where the Department for Education believes that a proposed school meets a local need and will be successful, a new 'Free School' is set up.
Free Schools are all-ability state-funded schools, parents do not pay to send their child to a Free School and groups running Free Schools cannot make a profit. Although the Government funds Free Schools, they can do things differently from other state schools. For example, they can follow a different curriculum, or change the length of the school day. To ensure high standards are maintained Free Schools, like any other school, are inspected by Ofsted.
"The right school can transform children's lives and help them achieve things they may never have imagined." - Department for Education
The New Schools Network, an independent charity, have published a data briefing, drawing together some key facts and figures about the Free Schools programme so far. It looks at where schools are located; their standards and popularity and how they are using their freedoms to improve the lives of children. It also looks at the truth behind some of the myths and misconceptions about Free Schools. Please click here to view online.