Free Schools:Written question - 51533

Asked by Jess Phillips
(Birmingham, Yardley)

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 02 November 2016
Department for Education
Free Schools
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many free schools were delayed in opening in each year since 2010.
Answered by: Edward Timpson
Answered on: 08 November 2016

Since the free schools programme began, 98 free school projects have had their opening date deferred. In each case there was a need to balance the risk of opening on the planned date against all the elements that must be in place to ensure that a free school is successful when it opens. Our guidance makes clear that allowing a free school project to enter the “pre-opening” phase does not guarantee that the school will open on the date originally planned by the proposer group, or open at all.

Free schools offer excellent value for money. The National Audit Office found in 2013 that free schools were built 45% more cheaply than other school building programmes. The free schools that are already open will provide over 180,000 new places.

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