- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
- Specialist wikis
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
CIOB creates charter and publishes special report.
Response submitted by IHBC.
Designed to accommodate flooding or waterway traffic.
ECA states concerns over the Government's disparate plans.
Net zero carbon future - necessity, not choice - was the event's focus.
CIOB event spotlighted sustainability strategies in the region.
The 19th and 20th centuries left a legacy of defects.
An invaluable technique that should be used more often.
Digital tool assists with product inventory management.