Can free schools drive up standards?
A total of 24 new free schools set up by parents, faith groups and others will open in England next month.
The state-funded but semi-independent schools have mostly been created in the 15 months since the coalition came to power.
Education Secretary Michael Gove says the schools will drive up standards, especially in poorer areas.
But critics say they will take resources and pupils from other schools and lead to less local accountability.
Ed Thomas reports.
28 Aug 2011