What is a Free School?

Primary school children at work in a classroom
Primary school children at work in a classroom Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

A Free School is a state-funded independent school which sits outside local authority control. Like Academies, Free Schools are run by teachers instead of local or central government. They have the freedom to decide the length of the school day and term, the curriculum, and how they reward their teachers and spend their money.

The Government says they've been set up "in response to what local people say they want and need in order to improve education for children in their community."

The Department for Education goes on to say "through the Free Schools programme it is now much easier for talented and committed teachers, charities, parents and education experts to open schools to address real demand within an area."