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22 more free schools given go-ahead to open

A further 22 free schools have been given the green light to open, including two backed by a videogame entrepreneur, Nicky Morgan has announced.

There are also plans to set up a new body of property experts to help find sites for free schools, the Education Secretary said.

Free schools - a flagship of Conservative education policy - are newly established schools set up by groups such as teachers, parents, businesses and academy chains, with freedom over areas such as the curriculum.

The free schools announced on Friday will create 18,000 more school places, across the country, Mrs Morgan said.

Among those approved are two academies in Tower Hamlets, London and Bournemouth set up by Ian Livingstone, a founder of the Games Workshop who advised the Government on the computer curriculum. These Livingstone Academies, which will be part of the Aspirations Academy trust, will focus on science, technology, engineering, arts and maths, the Department for Education (DfE) said.

Mrs Morgan said: "Free schools are offering a rigorous education in communities which have never before had the opportunity of a good local school. Parents are flocking to them in their droves - and today's announcement means that over 18,000 more children can benefit from a place in a free school.

"With leading entrepreneur Ian Livingstone stepping up to open two schools, the free schools programme is proving to be a vital outlet for our society's most creative and innovative people to spread their excellence to future generations."


From Belfast Telegraph