1. ITV Report

Bradford Free School opening scrapped

30 school children due to start at the 'One in a Million' Free School now how to go elsewhere Photo: PA

The Government has pulled the funding for one of its flagship Free Schools at Bradford City's Valley Parade football ground. just days before it was due to open.

According to its website, the One in a Million Free School helps children from disadvantaged backgrounds, providing education, sport and the arts.

Teaching there was due to start in September, but the school has had its grant delayed until next year. The parents of up to thirty pupils now have to find their children places in other schools in the city.

It's thought the decision was made because of the low pupil numbers.

The Shadow Education Secretary Stephen Twigg said the move ''will leave parents angry and confused as they scramble to find a school place.''

"This problem stems from an Education Secretary who prefers promoting pet projects without a clear assessment of local need on the ground."

– LABOUR'S SHADOW EDUCATION SECRETARY, STEPHEN TWIGG MP

The Department for Education said it hopes the One in a Million Free School in Bradford will open in 2013.

A spokesperson for the Departement said:

“Before any new schools open their doors, we have to be sure that all the conditions we set have been met. Setting up a Free School is a difficult task and we thank One in a Million for all their hard work.''

Angry parents have now set up a petition to try to get the school to open as normal in 2012.

On the online petition, they write "the head and staff have worked tirelessly to make sure this school is open for the first intake of year 7 children. [...] We want to ask the government to think this decision through again. It is so important to the children that this school is open on time for the children who have been given places and who are expecting to be starting their new journey in to upper school at One in a million."

More than 200 people have signed the petition so far.

"the head and staff have worked tirelessly to make sure this school is open for the first intake of year 7 children.

[...] We want to ask the government to think this decision through again."

Free schools are government-funded schools run by charities, faith organisations and parents’ groups. They're independent of local authority control.

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