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Free schools

In September 2011 the first Free schools will open in England. Thirteen free schools have had their funding agreements signed by the Secretary of State for Education; and a further seventeen have had their business cases approved and are in the pre-opening phase.

Inspired by charter schools in the US and the Free school movement in Sweden, the Coalition Government launched their Free schools programme soon after it came to power in June 2010.

Free schools are a type of academy and operate independently of Local Authority control. They are funded in the same way as other academies; by the state on a per pupil basis. The key difference between a Free School and a Converter Academy is that the former is a new school, which is set up in response to parental demand.

Proposals to set up Free schools have been received from a wide range of groups: charities, universities, businesses (on a not-for-profit basis), education groups, independent schools, faith groups, teachers, and parents.

Click here to see locations of the first free schools to have signed funding agreements and those that are in the pre-opening phase.

View the Department for Schools Free School Kit

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