You are viewing : Home » LOCAL COUNCILS UPDATE (view all editions) » 2019 Editions » July 2019

Thousands of school places in underperforming areas

Damian Hinds has confirmed that 22 applications to create a new free school have been successful – creating an extra 19,000 places in the areas that need them most and taking the government a step closer to delivering on its pledge to create one million new school places by 2020, the fastest growth for two generations.

There are more than 440 free schools nationwide, with 285 more set to open in the coming years. Of those inspected by Ofsted, 84% have been rated good or outstanding, with 30% rated outstanding; and in 2018, four of the top 10 Progress 8 scores for state- funded schools in England were achieved by free schools.

The latest approvals are targeted in areas of the country most in need – with 18 of the new schools set to open in local authorities identified by the Department for Education as having the lowest educational performance and insufficient capacity to improve – and areas that have not yet benefitted from the free schools programme.

This announcement includes confirmation that two new maths schools will proceed to the next stage of development to tap into the expertise of the country’s top universities to increase the number of young people studying maths, giving them opportunities to secure good jobs and helping to boost the UK economy.

Ofsted has found that maths schools excel in recruiting students from disadvantaged or under-represented background to fulfil their potential – the new schools will try to emulate the successes of maths schools in Exeter and London in putting talented mathematicians on the path to a course at top universities and supporting them towards advanced mathematics studies.

Alongside this the Education Secretary has approved, in principle, a bid for funding to open Hampton Waters Roman Catholic Voluntary Aided School in Peterborough to meet demand from parents in the city – the department is working with proposers to identify suitable sites for a further two bids.

(Published by the Department for Education: 14 June 2019)