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Government unveils 55 new free school projects

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The government has announced that another 55 new free schools and 13 University Technical Colleges (UTC) will open by September 2012

There are currently eight free schools and three UTCs already working to be established in 2012 and 24 free schools opened in April bringing the total to more than 100, reported sister title Construction News.

Of the new UTCs, several will specialise in construction and of the 63 new free schools to be delivered by 2012, 21 are primary, 33 are secondary, eight are all-through and one is a 16-19-year-old school.

Education secretary Michael Gove said: ‘The people who are driving free schools and UTCs are true pioneers. They are leading a revolution in the education system.

‘These new schools allow talented and experienced people to be imaginative and bold in creating great new schools. They will offer more choice to parents in the type of education their child receives, and will raise standards in many communities where the need is great.

‘UTCs are also a key part of the government’s drive to provide school leavers with the technical knowledge and skills that industry demands. This is vital for our economic growth.’

More than two thirds of the new facilities have proposed sites which are situated in the 50 per cent most deprived areas of the country.

Others will meet additional need for schools places, meaning that more than 90 per cent of successful applicants have proposed school sites in areas that are deprived or crying out for places


The new Free Schools approved include:

Brighton Bilingual Primary School, which plans to teach in English for 50 per cent of the time, and Spanish for the other 50 per cent of the time.

Kingfisher Hall Primary Academy, set up by Cuckoo Hall Academy – an outstanding primary academy in Enfield. This follows the successful opening of Woodpecker Hall Free School in September. 

School 21 – an all-age free school in Newham dedicated to helping pupils from the most deprived areas.

The King’s School Woolston, which will be a new secondary school in Warrington. It is being set up by local parents and teachers and is strengthened by the leadership of Sir Iain Hall as Chief Executive of the Trust. Sir Ian is an experienced head teacher, education adviser and co-founder of Future Leaders.

The London Academy of Excellence, which will be a brand new sixth form Free School. It is being set up by Brighton College – a highly successful independent school – with other independent schools. It is aimed at pupils from disadvantaged areas.

The 13 new UTCs announced today are spread across the country. Universities and employers will play a role in developing the curriculum in each UTC and will provide work placements for students.

Working in partnership with universities and employers, UTCs will provide school leavers with the technical knowledge and skills that industry demands. The 13 announced today join the two UTCs already open and the three that are already in the process of being set up.


The regional breakdown of all 63 free schools due to open in September 2012 is:

East Midlands – 2

East of England – 10

London – 22

North West – 6

South East – 6

South West – 4

West Midlands – 4

Yorkshire and Humber – 6.

The 2011 budget announced an extra £150m for UTCs and technical academies. Capital funding for the facilities announced today has yet to be revealed.

The UTCs that will specialise in construction will be situated in Aylesbury, Burnley, Daventry and Southwark.



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Readers' comments (1)

  • Ironic isn't it? The Brixton School of Building was a famous vocational school specialising in theoretical and practical building and construction. I was there for a three year Junior course from 1942 - 45. The educational reformers in the early 60's first made it part of the South Bank Polytechnic which subsequently became South Bank University. The vocational aspect was soon lost and in time the building school disappeared. Years later we have realised the mistakes that vocational training is not second class to academic
    and we need people who are best at using their
    hands and can have a sucessfull life without an academic degree. So Aylesbury, Burnley Daventry and Southwark are to have Schools of Building.

    Owen Luder CBE PPRIBA

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