Students In Underprivileged Regions In The UK To Gain Advantages From Newly Established Free Schools


UK (Parliament Politic Magazine) – A groundbreaking stride in the government’s commitment to enhancing educational standards, approximately 12,000 young individuals hailing from some of the most marginalized corners of the nation are poised to reap the benefits of a fresh surge of free schools. This initiative, announced on August 22, 2023, marks a pivotal juncture in the ongoing efforts to elevate scholastic achievements.

What Is A Free School?

Free schools are financially supported by the government but operate independently of local authorities. While they are commonly overseen by academy trusts, they can also be administered by universities, charitable organizations, businesses, and religious affiliations. 

Remarkably, anyone possessing the requisite capacity and competence can submit an application to establish a free school.

Designed as not-for-profit institutions, free schools extend access to students of diverse capabilities and enjoy increased autonomy in areas such as curriculum design and school day duration. Additionally, they possess the prerogative to determine teacher remuneration.

Establishment Of 15 Free School Announced By The Governement 

The government’s declaration underscores the imminent establishment of 15 novel free schools in regions grappling with lackluster educational outcomes, thereby paving the way for expanded prospects for local youth. 

Unlike conventional schools, free schools receive governmental funding but operate independently from local authorities, often under the stewardship of academy trusts, industrial entities, and universities. 

This autonomy affords them the latitude to innovate, bolster standards, and exercise greater control over aspects such as faculty remuneration and curriculum development. Among the upcoming schools, three will be administered by the esteemed Star Academies and Eton College. 

These institutions, situated in Dudley, Teesside, and Oldham, will extend the zenith of educational excellence to the North East, North West, and West Midlands. An immediate upshot of this expansion will be the accelerated progression of gifted local pupils into esteemed universities, including Oxford and Cambridge.

Existing Free Schools Have Seen A Remarkable Tranformation 

A cornerstone of the government’s scholastic enhancement endeavor, free schools and academies have precipitated a remarkable transformation, with 88% of schools now meriting good or outstanding ratings from Ofsted, a substantial rise from the 68% recorded in 2010. 

This evolution is mirrored internationally as English pupils have surged up the global rankings in reading proficiency, and the nation’s 9 and 10-year-olds stand as leaders in the Western world.

This pioneering free school initiative engenders greater choice for parents seeking commendable educational institutions, thereby bridging the opportunity divide nationwide. It facilitates the establishment of high-caliber schools in uncharted territories by proficient trusts and draws fresh expertise to regions clamoring for educational rejuvenation.

Reinforcing its effectiveness, free schools outshone other categories of non-selective state schools in the recent A-level results. A noteworthy 35% of A-levels undertaken by free school attendees clinched top grades (A or A*), surpassing the 22% figure achieved by pupils enrolled in local authority schools.

Establishment Of Free Schools In The UK To Benefit Pupils From Poor Backgrounds

Eton Star sixth-form colleges will introduce 480 new school spaces each, forged through a robust collaboration between Star Academies, a highly accomplished academy trust, and Eton College, which will furnish financial backing and supplementary enrichment.

Further blueprints have gained endorsement for the establishment of BRIT School North in Bradford, along with two University Technical Colleges (UTCs), a comprehensive school catering to students aged 4 to 16, a primary school, two secondary schools, and an additional five free schools catering to 16 to 19-year-oldsGreen-lit in Doncaster and Southampton, the two University Technical Colleges (UTCs) will provide crucial support for youngsters in forging the skills requisite for their prospective vocations, spanning fields like health sciences and marine engineering.

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Green Signal For Free Schools Have Been Granted 

Within this surge of free schools, the green signal has been granted where the demand for commendable educational facilities is most pronounced. A priority has been accorded to Education Investment Areas (EIAs) pinpointed in the Levelling Up White Paper, as well as Priority Education Investment Areas (PEIAs) spotlighted in the Schools White Paper.

These designated regions represent segments of the nation grappling with the weakest educational outcomes. Governmental investments in these zones aim to equip young individuals with the education and proficiencies imperative for securing gainful employment and fostering sustained economic growth.

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.