9 March 2015 - Cameron promises 500 more free schools
David Cameron: Tories would open 500 new free schools if we win election
Richard Adams (The Guardian)
The plan to open at least 500 of the schools, which can be set up by community groups including parents, charities or teachers, will mean an extra 270,000 places at the institutions, which were introduced as part of former education secretary Michael Gove’s reforms.
Cameron’s plans for a major extension of the policy if he remains in No10 come as the government announced that 49 more free schools have been given the green light in the final wave of approvals before the election.
In a speech in London, the prime minister will say: “If you vote Conservative, you will see the continuation of the free schools programme at the rate you’ve seen in the last three years.
Jason Farrell (Sky News)
More than 400 have been approved since 2010 creating more than 230,000 places. According to Policy Exchange nearly three quarters (72%) of all open or approved mainstream free schools are in areas with a projected lack of places in the future.
But critics say the schools are unaccountable and the initial findings do not warrant expanding the programme.
Henry Stewart from the Local Schools Network said: "It you look at the data for both primaries and secondary schools free schools don’t have any effect on the other schools in the area, but what they have done is they’ve used up a huge amount of resource.
"Some £1.7bn is the capital spend on free schools to date and the National Audit Office found that 52% of free school places are in areas that don’t need new places."
Elaine Warrell (The Financial Times)
Concerns over Whitehall’s oversight of autonomous schools intensified last week when the founder and former principal of a flagship free school in Bradford was charged with fraud.
Sajid Raza, who helped set up the Kings Science Academy, is accused of fraud by abuse of position, false accounting, obtaining money transfers by deception and fraud by false representation. The prime minister had previously visited the academy, and told Mr Raza he was “impressed” by his work there.
Even before the allegations about Mr Raza came to light, parliament’s spending watchdog has chastised education officials for being too slow to detect and prevent financial irregularities at free schools and state-run academies.
Yakub Qureshi (Manchester Evening News)
Prime minister David Cameron hailed the free school policy for giving thousands of children the choice of attending an excellent local school .
Commenting, he said: “Delivering the best schools and skills for young people is a crucial part of our long term economic plan to secure a better future for Britain.
“Free schools set up by teachers, parents and community groups are not only outperforming other schools, but they are raising the performance of those around them, meaning more opportunities for children to learn the skills they need to get on in life.
“These new schools are an important part of our plan to improve education by raising standards and restoring discipline so our children can compete with the world’s best and enjoy a better future.”
Pour citer cette ressource :
"9 March 2015 - Cameron promises 500 more free schools", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), septembre 2015. Consulté le 30/11/2023. URL: https://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/key-story/archives-revue-de-presse-2015/9-march-2015-cameron-promises-500-more-free-schools