Labour has dropped its opposition to the Conservatives' free schools policy, the new shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt has announced.
Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act shows that £5m in compensation was awarded to pupils in England and Wales last year.
Schools have a "moral responsibility" to keep the cost of pupils' uniform down, council leaders warned today.
Toby Young said Labour's new position on free schools is unfair to those not living in thriving cities.
Mr Young, who started a free school earlier this year, said it would leave those in rural communities unable to start free schools.
Labour's new shadow education secretary has expressed regret for dismissing the Conservatives' flagship free schools policy as a "vanity project for yummy mummies".
Tristram Hunt confirmed that a Labour government would not close down any of the free schools established under the reforms pioneered by Education Secretary Michael Gove. In an interview with the Mail on Sunday, he said:
I regret those comments because I think any parents, be they yummy mummies or faddy daddies, involved in the education of their children is great.
I am putting rocket boosters on getting behind parents and social entrepreneurs.
Labour sources has said the party's position on free schools has not changed and that shadow education secretary Tristam Hunt was continuing with the plans for parent academies set out by his predecessor, Stephen Twigg.
Labour is "not in the business of taking free schools down, the newly appointed shadow education secretary has said today, after he signalled that the party would drop its opposition to the Conservatives' flagship free schools.
Tristam Hunt told the Mail on Sunday:
We are not going to go back to the old days of the local authority running all the schools - they will not be in charge.
We will keep those free schools going. We aren't in the business of taking them down. We have to clear up this question which has dogged Labour education policy since we entered opposition and since Michael Gove began his reforms, as to what we'd do. We just want to say, 'You are setting up these schools, we are behind you'.
Labour has dropped its opposition to the Conservatives' free schools policy, the new shadow education secretary, Tristram Hunt has signalled.
The TV historian, who was among the big winners in Ed Miliband's shadow cabinet reshuffle, confirmed that a Labour government would not close down any of the free schools established under the reforms pioneered by Education Secretary Michael Gove.
According to the Mail on Sunday, he said the party would be coming forward with its own version of the scheme - which enables groups of parents and other organisations to set up schools outside local authority control - to be called parent-led academies (PLAs).
Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy has joined leading academics and children's authors in condemning Education Secretary Michael Gove's policies as being harmful to children.
A total of 198 people, including Children's Laureate Malorie Blackman, said they are "gravely concerned" by new policies in state education and have called for the reforms, affecting the national curriculum and exams, to be halted.
Their letter, published in The Times (£), comes as Mr Gove prepares to address the Conservative Party conference in Manchester.
"These damaging developments must stop," they wrote. "If they go ahead there will be devastating consequences for children's mental health, for future opportunities and, most importantly, for the quality of childhood itself."
The traditional six week summer holiday could soon be a thing of the past with state schools set to be given permission to set their own term times.
Local councils will no longer have the authority to tell their schools when terms should start and end, ministers have announced.
The move, which if passed in the new Deregulation Bill would come into effect in September 2015, will allow local-authority schools to cut school holidays and introduce longer terms.
Academies and free schools - who are not under council control - are already allowed to determine their own term dates.
The Education Secretary Michael Gove has previously called for longer school days and term times, warning that the current system is out of date.
The decision is likely to face opposition from teaching unions who already argue that teachers and pupils spend long hours in the classroom.
The education budget is down by 1% overall, schools protected so cuts are elsewhere.
The Chancellor said that the Education Department’s overall budget will increase to £53 billion and that "schools spending will be protected in real terms".
He also announced an "unprecedented increase in the number of Free Schools" by providing funding for 180 new free schools in 2015/16.