In a recent answer to a Parliamentary Question on March 21st, Schools Minister, Nick Gibb declared
that £35 million has been allocated to Free Schools this year. He says that the government is being transparent about the funding process, and will declare all costs for Free Schools once they open. Surely, this isn't being transparent at all: we need to know projected costs BEFORE these schools open.
Furthermore, the figure of £35 million can't include the capital costs of these schools. We know already that West London Free School will cost £12million, and Kings' Science Academy in Bradford will cost £10 million in capital costs; already two thirds of the TOTAL money allocated to Free Schools. The government needs to urgently tell us how much of the £2 billion ear-marked for capital funds devoted to extra-pupil places has been allocated to Free Schools. All the evidence suggests that the government would be saving millions if they helped existing schools to expand rather than setting up divisive, expensive Free Schools.
We need transparency about capital funds and initial start-up costs for free schools BEFORE they open.