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News - 22 February 2012

Free School groups set to apply for 2013Free School groups set to apply for 2013

Groups that want to open mainstream, special and alternative provision Free Schools in September 2013 can submit their detailed plans to the Department from 14th February 2012.

They will follow in the footsteps of the first 24 Free Schools, which opened in 2011 in record time.

A further 72 Free Schools are in the pipeline to open in September 2012 and beyond.
Seventeen University Technical Colleges and 12 Studio Schools are also aiming to open from 2012 onwards.

Free Schools are part of the Government’s drive to raise standards in education, to improve choice for parents, and to make sure the system responds to demands from local communities.

Like Academies, they have greater freedom for teachers than local authority schools, including more choice over the curriculum, how money is spent and the length of the school day.

The majority of the first Free Schools are in disadvantaged areas or where there is a shortage of school places. Even before they opened, 15 of the first 24 schools were oversubscribed for their first year, with some seeing more than three applications for one school place.

Studio Schools offer academic and vocational qualifications, but teach them in a practical and project-based way. Study is combined with paid work placements with local and national employers who are involved in the school.

Twelve have already been approved to open in 2012 – with the backing of employers like Glaxo, Sony, the BBC and Fulham FC. They join six Studio Schools that are already open.

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