Holding answer received on 10 December 2018
There are currently 442 open free schools, 50 open university technical colleges (UTCs) and 27 open studio schools, which will provide over 290,000 places at capacity.
Since the start of the free schools programme, 77 free school projects, 4 UTC projects and 5 studio school projects have been cancelled or withdrawn prior to opening. In addition to this, 13 free schools, 7 UTCs and 21 studio schools have closed.
Where a free school, UTC or studio school has closed, the Department will always aim to recover assets and identify alternative educational uses for sites. As of December 2018, the Department has identified, or has plans for, alternative educational uses for 29 of the 32 free schools, UTCs and studio schools for which permanent sites were acquired, but not returned to the original site owner upon closure. If an alternative education use cannot be found, the Department retains the option to sell the site for a commercial return, ensuring the best possible return for the taxpayer.
The costs, both capital and revenue, associated with these projects are published in the Department’s annual accounts and on GOV.UK.