England

Ten more free schools approved by Michael Gove

Ten more free schools have been approved by Education Secretary Michael Gove.

Three in London, two in Birmingham, two in greater Manchester, two in Berkshire and one in Northamptonshire will provide 5,000 extra free school places.

They join 174 schools already open and 115 in the pipeline.

Mr Gove said free schools were "driving up education standards" but unions have been critical.

The free schools approved are:

  • London - Ealing Fields secondary and two Harris Federation primary schools, one in Tottenham Hale and one in Southwark.
  • Birmingham - East Birmingham Network (EBN) free school in Sutton Coldfield and King Solomon International Business School in central Birmingham.
  • Greater Manchester - The Eddie Davies Educational Trust sixth form school in Bolton and a free school run by Didsbury CE primary.
  • Berkshire - The Langley Primary Academy in Slough and a free school run by Maiden Erlegh secondary in Reading.
  • Northamptonshire - Lodge Park primary in Corby

Free schools, which can be set up by groups, are state-funded but operate outside local authority control.

Critics, including teachers unions, have said they break up the state school system.

The National Union of Teachers (NUT) has said: "We believe it is wrong that state funding should be given to small groups of individuals to run schools that are unaccountable to their local communities."

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