- 3 updates
The general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers Dr Mary Bousted has claimed the DfE has "overspent its free schools budget by £1bn".
A Department for Eduation spokesman said: "We have made an additional £5 billion of funding available in this Parliament alone to councils to create new school places - double the amount spent by the previous government over the same period. This is in addition to the budget for free schools."
The DfE said the latest approvals means there are now 331 open and approved free schools across the country, creating 175,000 school places.
Among the latest schools to be approved are the LIPA Sixth Form College, which is being established by the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, a specialist centre founded 18 years ago by Sir Paul McCartney, and The Powerlist Post 16 Leadership College in Lambeth, south London.
The Government has announced a further 38 new free schools have been approved to open. The majority are expected to open their doors in September 2015, with half due to be set up in the most deprived communities in England.
The 38 new schools will collectively offer 22,000 places.
Education Secretary Michael Gove insisted that free schools were giving children from "ordinary backgrounds" the type of education "previously reserved for the rich and the lucky".
He said: "Thanks to our free school programme, many more parents now have a new school in their neighbourhood offering high standards and tough discipline.
"Free schools put teachers - not bureaucrats and politicians - in the driving seat, as they are the ones who know their pupils best."