I am interested in seeing the evidence that free schools and academies are or will be 'wildly' more popular than maintained schools as suggested today in one of our comments. I have just come across this story
from a local paper in Hammersmith and Fulham, about to get a two free schools and an academy.
It reveals that one free school had 63 applicants for 60 places, so barely over subscribed. Another had 445 applicants for 120 places ,around 3.7 applicants for each place. An academy in the area had 632 applicants for 240 places in two year groups - 2.6 applicants for each place.
I then took a look at admissions for my own local primary and secondary schools last year, all of which are thriving maintained schools (none of which has shown any interest in academy status).
School A (Boys VA school): 546 applicants for 123 places (over 4 applicants per place), School B (mixed community school): 692 applicants for 182 places (3.8 applicants per place), School C (mixed community school): 587 applicants for 210 places School (2.8 applicants per place). School D ( girls community school): 470 applicants for 180 places ( 2.6 applicants per place). One community primary school was oversubscribed by 3:1, another by 6:1.
In short not much difference. I daresay there are similar stories in schools all over the country. We just never see the success and popularity of existing local schools being celebrated in this way. Maybe that is because most of them are busy educating children, rather than blowing their own trumpets.