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Cameron pledges delivery of two yearly ‘waves’ of new schools

Prime minister David Cameron has announced details of how the government will open 500 free schools during this Parliament.

Cameron has pledged to deliver two ‘waves’ of new schools every year until 2020, aiming to create 270,000 school places countrywide.

The first 18 projects of this have been given the green light with plans to create 9,000 places through 52 new schools, joining the existing network of 252 free schools.

He said: “The aim of this policy is crystal clear – to increase the number of good and outstanding school places so that more parents have the security of knowing their child is getting a great education.

“Today’s announcement shows that we will not waver in pressing ahead with our plans to create 500 more of these innovative and exciting schools over the next five years, creating 270,000 places, delivering an excellent education and giving parents across the country real choice for their children.”

Application deadlines for each ‘wave’ of new schools will be in March and September, with the latest application window to set up a free school opening on 28 September.

Education secretary Nicky Morgan called for greater investment from more groups while committing to streamline the process of existing high-performing schools and encourage businesses and organisations to join the programme.

She said: “We know that free schools don’t just give parents greater choice, they also force existing schools to up their game. Today’s news sends a clear message that we are committed to extending this unprecedented level of choice to more parents than ever before.”

The 18 new schools announced will include those set up by teachers themselves, including Solihull Alternative Provision Academy set up by three headteachers of schools in Solihull, West Midlands.

Other schools due to open doors soon include a secondary school in Doncaster, a classical and aspirational educational school in south London, a specialist performing arts college in Leeds and a special school in Cheshire.

Free schools are new schools set up by parents, teachers, charities, academics and existing schools in order to cope with local community demands, either due to place shortages or dis-satisfaction with current models. 


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