The Government has dismissed criticisms of its rollout of free schools, claiming a scathing report by MPs into recent scandals is "misplaced".
A Department for Education spokeswoman said:
As the PAC has recognised we have made significant progress in implementing free schools, which are driving up educational standards and giving pupils from all backgrounds the chance to achieve academic excellence.
Many of the PAC's concerns are misplaced. Free schools are subject to greater scrutiny than council-run schools, they are overwhelmingly located in areas with a shortage of places, and construction costs are 45% lower than the previous school building programmes.
Those areas with a shortage of places but with no free schools receive extra basic need funding to make up for it.
More top news
Dry as temperatures nose dive