Twice as many new free schools will start the new term this week compared with last year, as 55 open their doors for the first time, the Government has announced.
Education Secretary Michael Gove said he hoped the new schools would be "equally successful" as the 24 which launched last September.
But he has faced criticism after some free schools slated to open this week failed over the summer, including the One in a Million free school in Bradford, which abandoned its plans for 2012 last week.
Mr Gove said:
Speaking yesterday on the Sky News Murnaghan programme, shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg said:
The free schools opening this week will include primary and secondary schools, establishments which cater for students through their schooling and two schools which cater for pupils to the age of 19.
Who have set the free schools up?
- 19 by parent or community groups.
- 13 by existing education providers.
- 12 have been set up by teachers.
- 9 by charities.
- 2 existing schools will join the state sector as free schools.
The Department of Education said 25 free schools are located in the most deprived 25 per cent of communities in the country, while the other 33 are in area where there is a need for more school places.