With the news today that George Osborne is thinking of cutting back the free schools programme, this debate was quite timely. Myself and a number of other experts/campaigners came together at the Education Innovation conference and discussed the complexities of this issue. For those in the know, it was a good debate, with Russell Hobby producing the best part (about 15 mins in) when he attacked the forcible conversion of schools into academies.
The Sunday Times reports today that the free schools programme looks like it's going to get the chop in the next spending round. Now the taxpayer has never known the full cost of this programme, but this news indicates that it's comparatively expensive. Here is the headline paragraphs from the Sunday Times:
The Sunday Times 10th March 2013