Free schools in England

To their supporters, they are seen as a helpful disruptor to the schools system; improving competition, choice, and quality. To their opponents, free schools are viewed as a distraction and a step further away from local democracy and accountability. This debate, as with much in education, has lacked evidence and impartial analysis. This Education Policy Institute report, the most detailed, independent, assessment yet of this new and much debated reform of the school system, fills that gap. ‘Free Schools in England’ is the first of its kind – considering whether the free school programme has helped to add capacity to areas in need of additional school places or higher quality school places, their popularity with parents, their demographic composition and finally, emerging findings of their impact on pupils’ attainment and progress.

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