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David Cameron unveiled the latest list of free schools across England… reports Asian Lite News

Cameron with ChildrenAs a step towards his manifesto pledge of 500 more over the next five years, the prime minister is launching a further 18 of the state-funded schools, set up by academy trusts, community groups, parents and teachers.

Mr Cameron said this would deliver “innovative and exciting schools,’’ reports BBC News

But the National Union of Teachers said the government was “playing politics” with the demand for school places. says BBC ,ews.

The announcement will add to the 252 free schools already open and a further 52 set to open this term, out of a total of about 22,000 schools in the state sector.

The Department for Education says the new projects include a school in Solihull for children who have fallen out of mainstream education and the Gipsy Hill Secondary School in south London, which will use a classical model based on “logic, grammar and rhetoric as the foundations of learning”.

The Swan School will open in Oxford and the John Donne Primary Free School in Peckham, both supported by local state schools.

“The aim of this policy is crystal clear – to increase the number of good and outstanding school places so that more parents have the security of knowing their child is getting a great education,” said Mr Cameron.

The prime minister said he would “not waver in pressing ahead with our plans” to reach the target of an extra 500 free schools.

But Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said there was a “strong pipeline” of quality applications. She added: “This is about making sure that every child has a good school place to attend with excellent teaching to fulfil their potential.”

NUT leader Christine Blower accused the government of “untruths and misrepresentations” about its free-school policy, saying there was no evidence that they were better than other schools, adds BBC News.

Free schools have the same status as academies, operating outside local authority control and not having to follow the national curriculum and having more flexibility over staffing.

The new schools are being announced at a time of growing demand for school places, with a rising population at both primary and secondary levels.

A report from London Councils says there is a need for 113,000 extra school places in the capital in the next five years, which it says will need additional funding of £1.5bn.

 

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