David Cameron uses his penultimate day in office to announce approvals for 31 new free schools and academies

 
Mark Sands
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David Cameron & Ed Miliband Take Part In TV Q&A
David Cameron will step down on Wednesday after more than six years as Prime Minister (Source: Getty)

In one of his final acts as Prime Minister, David Cameron has announced approvals for 31 new free schools and academies across the country.

As part of his penultimate day in office, Cameron today visited an “outstanding” rated free school in West London to reveal the latest from the government programme, which will include 20,000 new school places.

Like academies, free schools are non-profit, independent, state-funded schools which are not controlled by local authorities.

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However, they are distinguished because they can be launched by parents and teachers, while new academies can only be launched by existing providers.

Cameron's reforms to education, including academisation, have proved controversial, with the government forced to abandon plans to force all English schools to convert to academies.

Announcing the 31 new schools and academies, which include 13 in London, Cameron said: “Free schools have been at the heart of this government’s education reforms which have seen more than 1.4m more children in good or outstanding schools since 2010.

“More than 300 have been created since I became Prime Minister and 200 are set to open meaning tens of thousands more young people, many from disadvantaged areas, finally have a choice of a good education that helps them reach their full potential.

“I am proud of what this government has achieved, working with heads and teachers to raise standards so that our young people have the best possible start in life.”

Newly created academies will include The Avenue in north west London, which will cater for pupils with Autistic Spectrum Disorder, and Reach Academy 2 in Hounslow.

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