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Cameron announces 31 new free schools

On final visit as Prime Minister, David Cameron recently announced the provision of 20,000 new school places

Posted by Stephanie Broad | July 20, 2016 | People, policy, politics

Visiting Reach Academy in Feltham, former Prime Minister David Cameron recently announced 31 new free schools that will provide around 20,000 high-quality places for pupils. 

David Cameron said: “Free schools have been at the heart of this government’s education reforms which have seen more than 1.4 million more children in good or outstanding schools since 2010. 

“More than 300 have been created since I became Prime Minister and 200 are set to open meaning tens of thousands more young people, many from disadvantaged areas, finally have a choice of a good education that helps them reach their full potential. 

“I am proud of what this government has achieved, working with heads and teachers to raise standards so that our young people have the best possible start in life.”

The 31 schools comprise successful applications from some of the best academy trusts in the country. They include:

  • Kings Leadership Padgate, Warrington – this new school is being set up by the team behind King’s leadership academy in Warrington which last year won the national award for character education. The new school will have a similar curriculum and aims to offer high quality education in an area with a number of poor-performing schools
  • The Avenue, north west London – the school will cater for pupils with Autistic Spectrum Disorder and complex needs. It is being set up by the Brent Specialist Academy Trust, established by 3 special schools all with good or outstanding ratings from Ofsted
  • Reach Academy 2, Hounslow – the second school from Reach will take its inspiration from the Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ) in New York City – the school will replicate HCZ’s focus on early intervention with 2- and 3-year-olds with strong relationships with families via home visits and integrated family support

Responding to the announcement, Sarah Pearson, Interim Director of New Schools Network said: “It’s brilliant news that 31 new schools have been approved today – amongst them is a second school for Reach Academy in Feltham. Having already established an outstanding all-through school, this new school will allow even more young people to benefit from the fantastic education they offer. It is great to see free schools growing in this way.

“Today’s news highlights just how much the teaching profession has embraced the opportunity to open new schools. The simple fact is that we urgently need more good new schools – not just where there is a shortage of places but where standards have been too low for too long.”

The successful applicants will now begin to confirm sites with many due to open by September 2017.

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