Free schools in England: 2019 report

Free schools are new, state-funded schools that are independent of local authorities. They were one of the flagship education reforms introduced by the 2010 Coalition Government, based on a similar concept in Sweden and charter schools in the United States and Canada.
The first free schools opened in September 2011 and they now number over 500, and are in every region in England. In September 2019, the prime minister confirmed a renewed commitment to the free schools programme, with a further 220 set to open over the coming years.
In November 2017 the Education Policy Institute published its first report assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the free schools programme based on the available evidence at that point. This report delivers an update to our earlier work using the latest data, as well as extending our previous research to comment further on the reach of special free schools, and on the characteristics and performance of mainstream secondary free schools.

Date Published: 17th October 2019
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