It is critically important for our nation’s future that we reform our schools system to provide a wide choice for all parents and children. The establishment of over 1,400 academies and 24 free schools has helped drive up standards and create more choice.
Therefore, I am pleased to confirm today that a further three special and five alternative provision free schools have been approved with a view to opening in September 2012.
Rosewood school, Southampton
City of Peterborough Academy special school, Peterborough
Lighthouse School, Leeds
Derby Pride Academy, Derby
Harmonize Academy, Liverpool
Stone Soup Learns, Nottingham
Everton in the Community Free School Trust, Liverpool
East Birmingham Network, Birmingham
I am committed to both increasing and improving the provision available to children with special educational needs and those that require alternative provision. I have approved the very strongest applications today. I fully expect some of the groups that are disappointed today to submit even stronger applications in the future and I encourage them to do so.
I am also releasing guidance on the application process to set up new free schools, university technical colleges and studio schools in 2013 and beyond. I want to particularly encourage groups to submit applications to set up new schools in areas of deprivation, or areas where the growth in the pupil population means there is a need for new school places.
Details of the application process and its deadlines can be found on the Department for Education’s website and I will place copies in the House Libraries.
I will make a further announcement on successful applications to set up studio schools in 2012 in due course.