55 new free schools launch

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.

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Gove: New free schools like 'private schools you don't have to pay to go to'

Education Secretary Michael Gove visited the first new school to open in Birmingham for 15 years today.
Education Secretary Michael Gove visited the first new school to open in Birmingham for 15 years today. Credit: ITV Central

Education Secretary Michael Gove has said that the Government's new free schools are like "private schools that you don't have to pay to go to".

The Conservative MP visited the first new free school to open in Birmingham for 15 years today and it has been revealed that twice as many new free schools will start the new term this week compared with last year.

For the full interview visit ITV Central.

Education Secretary visits new free school in Birmingham

Education Secretary Michael Gove visited the first new school to open in Birmingham for 15 years today.

Perry Beeches II The Free School opened its doors for the first time and welcomed new year seven and post-16 students.

For more on this story visit ITV Central.

Michael Gove meets staff at Perry Beeches II The Free School in Birmingham today.
Michael Gove meets staff at Perry Beeches II The Free School in Birmingham today. Credit: ITV Central
The Education Secretary talks to pupils.
The Education Secretary talks to pupils. Credit: ITV Central

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Gove: 'Dramatic change' in opening of new schools

Education Secretary Michael Gove has said the Government has created a "dramatic change" in the pace of new schools opening.

It has been revealed that twice as many new free schools will start the new term this week compared to last year, as 55 schools open their doors for the first time.

The Conservative MP told BBC News:

Under the last government if you were opening a new school it would take anything up to three to five years to open. In fact, when they [Labour] had a parent promoted school that opened under there tenure... it took 10 years to open.

Last year we opened 24 schools within one year, now 55 after two years, it's a dramatic change in the pace of new school opening.

As a result more parents have the chance to send their children to high quality schools in communities in many cases that haven't had that choice before.

Labour: Free schools are 'waste of public money'

Shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg has branded money free schools 'a waste of public' money.

Speaking on the Sky News Murnaghan programme, he said:

Some of the free schools opening are fully subscribed, they will be brilliant, successful schools and I wish them well.

A number of local authorities have recognised the only way to get money from this Government for a new school is to have a free school.

You've innovative teachers and headteachers opening free schools - I applaud all of that.

But the problem we have got is the Government puts all of its eggs in the basket of free schools, so when they fail it is a waste of public money.

The programme is not being tailored to those parts of the country that most need additional school places.

– Stephen Twigg, shadow education secretary