1. ITV Report

All about free schools - and where they will be in the North East

Free schools are independent of local authorities Photo: David Davies/PA Wire/Press Association Images

So far, two free schools have opened in the North East and another five have been approved for 2013.

A flagship policy of the coalition government, free schools are funded by taxpayers but independent of local authorities. They can be set up by groups of parents, faith groups, other sponsors or businesses (on a not-for-profit basis).

The policy is meant to make it easier for people to start new schools to fill gaps where they are needed.

  • Discovery Free School, Newcastle: "Focus on science, technology and engineering to fill skills gaps in the region"

Age Range: 14-19

Places: 180

Due to Open: September 2013

  • Marchbank Free School, Darlington: "A small school with a family ethos and strong community foundations"

Age Range: primary (for children with behavioural, social and emotional difficulties)

Places: 30

Due to Open: September 2013

Age Range: secondary and sixth form

Places: 750

Due to Open: September 2013

Age Range: primary

Places: 28

Due to Open: September 2013

  • Durham Free School Ltd, Durham: "Founded on Christian values ... for those from the South and East of the city"

Age Range: secondary

Places: 60

Due to Open: September 2013

Age Range: 3-18

Places: 277

Opened: 2012

Age Range: primary

Places: 210

Opened: 2012