- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 21 Jan 2021
Free schools funded by the government but not run by the local authority. Instead, they are run on a not-for-profit basis by groups such as; charities, universities, parents, businesses and so on as an alternative to existing local schools.
Free schools have more control over how they operate. They can set their own pay and conditions for staff, change the length of school terms and of the school day and do not have to follow the national curriculum. However, unlike grammar schools, they are not permitted to use academic selection processes.
Free schools can be either university technical colleges, specialising in subjects such as engineering and construction, as well as ‘traditional’ subjects, or they can be studio schools; small schools delivering mainstream qualifications through project-based learning.
It found that whilst free schools often meet a demographic need for new school places, they also create spare capacity, which may have implications for schools’ financial sustainability. It recommended that In assessing applications for new free schools, the Department for Education should assess whether the value gained from increasing choice outweighs the disadvantages of creating spare school places. The report also said the Department recognised that skills shortages had affected the ability to secure free school sites quickly and at the best price.
Commons Public Accounts Committee chair Meg Hillier said: “The department is choosing to open new free schools in areas which do not need them and are failing to fill places. This is taxpayers’ money that could be used to fund much-needed improvements in thousands of existing school buildings.”
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Baseline designs for schools.
- Broadmeadows Primary School.
- Building Bulletin 93: acoustic design of schools.
- Building Schools for the Future.
- CIBSE Case Study Bushbury Hill Primary School.
- NAO report into the Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation.
- Priority School Building Programme PSBP.
- The King’s School, Worcester.
Featured articles and news
TASC/CIOB study looks at post-pandemic struggles and trends.
The Government announces recalibrated goals.
ECA proposes strategies for the present and the future.
Paul Morrell to lead independent review of the construction products testing regime.
Standard will help employers foster wellbeing and manage psychosocial risks.
Global fire standards for safety of people and property.
An introduction to the 5 core principles of lean.
Can the profession use its skills to save the world from climate change?
How faulty science resulted in sanitation reform.
Improving facilities, accessibility and overall appearance.
Free download of TG 12/2021 available.
TESP works with The Youth Group to form skill sharing network.
Big tech collaborates on platform for the built environment.
Letter signed by 21 organisations sent to MHCLG.
Click the button to subscribe.