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The NUT responds to Cameron's free schools

The NUT maintains that the free school policy has diverted funds into a small number of schools and prevented Local Authorities opening schools where most needed. Free Schools do not raise standards. What does is teaching.

Supporting teachers in developing their classroom practice through high quality CPD and more time to teach, rather than meet arbitrary Government targets, should be the aim of any Government, not introducing market forces into education.

– Lisa Middle, Secretary of Bristol Division NUT

Full list of South West free schools

  • The Digital Primary Academy in Exeter - will be opened by the same trust that runs the Broadclyst Primary Academy. It is the only UK primary school recognised as a Microsoft Mentor School and part of the Microsoft Global Challenge.
  • Kingsteignton School in Devon - will be run by the federation that runs nearby St Michael’s Church of England Primary School.
  • Stoke Damerel Healthcare Professional Studio School in Plymouth - will specialise in healthcare, and is sponsored by Stoke Damerel Community College, with partners including Plymouth NHS Trust, Plymouth University Peninsula School of Medicine and Dentistry and Plymouth University.
  • The Great Western Academy in Swindon - will have a business and enterprise curriculum model.
  • The Swindon Church of England Secondary School - the city's first Church of England school, being provided by the Diocese of Bristol.
  • Bristol Autism Free School - Bristol’s first all-through provision for students with autistic spectrum conditions. It will replace and expand on a small autism unit at the successful Merchants Academy.
The schools are all expected to open in 2016 Credit: ITV News


Six new free schools announced for the South West

The Government has today said six new free schools will open in the South West - part of 49 being announced nationwide.

All three are planned for Devon, with one in Plymouth, one in Exeter and one in Newton Abbot.

Six new free schools have been announced for Swindon Credit: PA

Today's announcement, the final wave of free schools to be approved before the election, brings the total number of open and approved free schools to more than 400. It has created around 230,000 new school places.

The Government claims 72 per cent of free school heads say they are having a positive impact on schools in their local area – driving up standards and ensuring more parents have a great school in their neighbourhood.

Over 40,000 pupils are already attending free schools, with more than two-thirds rated good or outstanding. 72 per cent are located in areas with a shortage of places.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan Credit: PA

Today’s announcement sends a clear sign that children for generations to come will be able to benefit from a place in a free school. With already more than two-thirds being rated good or outstanding, today’s news will reassure parents that standards will continue to rise.

– Nicky Morgan

New free schools to open this month

  • Marine Academy Primary, Plymouth
  • Plymouth School of Creative Arts (all-thorough), Plymouth
  • Route 39 Secondary Academy, Devon
  • Sparkwell All Saints Primary, Devon
  • Steiner Academy (all-through), Exeter

They are schools that are paid for by the tax payer but not under the control of the local authority, they are run by parents and teachers.

Two University Training Colleges (UTC) will also open in September, including the Devon Health Studio School in Torbay, and Plymouth UTC.


Exeter University to open a free school

Exeter University buildings Credit: PA

Exeter University is to open a new free school specialising in maths. The school will be jointly run with Exeter College. It is expected to open in September next year, and will cater for around 120 pupils: 16 to 19 year-olds who want to study maths.

A fifth of them will be able to board at the university between Monday and Thursday in a bid to attract youngsters from across the South West.