The Department for Education (DfE) has revealed that thousands of new school places will be created across the UK following the biggest wave of free schools approvals this parliament.
According to the government, over 69,000 places will be created, providing more parents with the choice of a good school place for their children.
As many as 131 new schools will be led by high-performing institutions, including grammar school-led multi-academy trusts (MAT) and the largest state boarding school in the country. The government believes that this demonstrates how existing high-performing schools can help improve attainment more widely.
Some 29 per cent of free schools in the country are rated as outstanding by Ofsted, placing them as one of the highest performing groups of non-selective state schools.
Education secretary, Justine Greening, commented: “We need schools that can bring out the best in every single child no matter where they’re growing up, how much their parents earn, or however different their talents are.
“That’s why these new schools are so important - they give us the school places we need for the future, and they also give parents more choices to find a great school place in their area that’s right for their child.”
Over 80 per cent of mainstream free schools have been approved in regions where there was a need for more school places, claim the DfE. This while other free schools are being opened in response to parental demand to create competition and ‘drive-up’ standards where current provision is not adequate.
Today there are 1.8 million more children in good or outstanding schools compared to 2010, according to the government.
In addition to its efforts to open more free schools, the government has created a new body called LocatED. It is made up of property specialists and aims to speed up the process of acquiring sites for new schools.