"Town halls to decide on sites of new free schools"

David Barry's picture
A really interesting story in the TES today.

I would be interested to hear any thoughts members of this site might have....

This is the beginning of the article: " Local authorities are to be given significantly greater powers over deciding where new free schools and academies should open, under plans being considered by the government.

Councils with the most pressure on school places will be asked to bid for the £1 billion in funding that was announced by Chancellor George Osborne (pictured below) in his Autumn Statement in December.

But proposals to give local authorities a central role in deciding where that money goes represent a major departure from the original free school policy, which enabled parents, teachers and charities to set up a new school in their area in direct negotiation with the Department for Education.

According to officials, the majority of free school bids will still be made directly to the DfE, but the new policy reveals the strain being placed on the department to meet the need for additional school places.

The £1 billion is expected to fund around 50,000 extra school places through the creation of 100 new free schools and academies and the expansion of existing good schools.

England is anticipating an 8 per cent increase in pupil numbers - about 270,000 more children - over the next three years."

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