Largest tranche of free schools launched

The Government has approved another 131 free schools this month, the largest number of this Parliament, which will create around 69,000 places for pupils and “give parents more choices”, according to Education Secretary, Justine Greening.

Ms Greening added that the new schools, which include a secondary school in Dartford put forward by the Endeavour Multi-Academy Trust, will offer a good education to children “regardless of their background or however different their talents.”

The announcement comes as it is acknowledged that the country is experiencing a school funding crisis. While the Government’s proposed plans to introduce a “fair funding formula” (FFF), will result in money being spread out more equally across England, there has been a loss of funding of £3bn across the country.

Meanwhile, in separate news, the Education Secretary has also announced that academies and maintained schools can register their “interest” in getting some of a new £140m improvement fund for schools, which was first mentioned last year, although no further details have been forthcoming.

Interested parties can fill out a Google form, supplying their email address and the name of the organisation they work for. They will then be emailed further information about the fund when it opens.

According to Schools Commissioner, Sir David Carter, the money will go towards four issues, which include the creation of “less patchy” coverage of multi-academy trusts and teaching school alliances; setting up more quality teacher training in quality areas; ensuring effective curriculum schemes reach all classrooms; and faster intervention in failing schools

However, no one appears to know when the fund will open for official bids or when the cash will be awarded.

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