This report from the UK think tank the Education Policy Institute provides its latest assessment of the free schools programme in England.
The new report draws on the most recent data from the Department for Education, providing the most detailed, up to date findings on free schools. First opened in 2011, free schools are state-funded schools independent of local authorities, set up by parents, charities and other groups. Today, there are over 500 in England. In September 2019 the government announced a new wave of free schools, with a further 220 set to be opened over the coming years. Ahead of this expansion, this new report from EPI examines the strengths and weaknesses of the programme to date – including whether it is successfully targeting areas in the country that are most in need of school places.Read Full Report