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Education Secretary: 22 more free schools to open

A further 22 free schools have been will soon be open - creating 18,000 more school places across the country, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has announced.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said 'parents are flocking' to free schools Credit: Jonathan Brady / PA Wire/PA Images

Free schools are newly established schools set up by groups such as teachers, parents, businesses and academy chains, with freedom over areas such as the curriculum.

Among those approved are two academies - one in Tower Hamlets, London and the other in Bournemouth - set up by Ian Livingstone, a founder of the Games Workshop who advised the Government on the computer curriculum.

The 'Livingstone Academies' will focus on science, technology, engineering, arts and maths, the Department for Education said.

"Free schools are offering a rigorous education in communities which have never before had the opportunity of a good local school.

Parents are flocking to them in their droves - and today's announcement means that over 18,000 more children can benefit from a place in a free school.

With leading entrepreneur Ian Livingstone stepping up to open two schools, the free schools programme is proving to be a vital outlet for our society's most creative and innovative people to spread their excellence to future generations.

– Education Secretary Nicky Morgan

There are also plans to set up a new body of property experts to help find more sites for free schools, the Education Secretary said.

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Bomb threats made at four schools in Cornwall

Pupils at four schools in Cornwall were evacuated this morning after a series of bomb threats at around 8am.

Police are not releasing the names of the schools in the Truro, St Ives and Penzance areas as they investigate.

Credit: PA

At around 8am today, Tuesday, January 26, 2016, four secondary schools in Truro, St Ives and Penzance, received calls suggesting a potential security threat.

As a result, all four schools self-evacuated.

By 9am, following police attendance and immediate enquiries, there was quickly found to be no threat and no risk to any children or staff.

Enquiries are continuing into the matter.

– Devon and Cornwall police

The calls were made at around the same time six schools in the West Midlands and four schools in London received similar threats.

A West Midlands Police said there was "no credible threat" to schools in the region and linked them to hoax threats made to two schools in Sandwell and Dudley last week.

Pupils evacuated at six West Midlands schools over 'bomb threats'

Bomb threats were made to six schools in the West Midlands this morning in what police believe to be a series of hoaxes.

Oldbury Academy in Sandwell Credit: Google Maps

West Midlands Police is investigating the threats but said in a statement that "intelligence experts insisted there was no credible threat".

At least one school - Oldbury Academy in Sandwell - send pupils home and has said it will remain closed until tomorrow.

The police said today's calls, which were made in quick succession at around 9am, "mirror" similar threats made to Oldbury Academy and Bristnall Hall last week.

Similar calls took place this morning at four schools in London, which evacuated pupils, and at around 8am bomb threats were made to four schools in Cornwall.

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