The 12 Most Critical Findings of the NAO Free School Report

Laura McInerney

The National Audit Office have published a report scrutinising the DfE’s Free School policy.

No doubt the government will trumpet the headline that most primary Free School places are in areas of high need (which is good), and talk lots about how much better the process now is (which it is), but buried in the report there are still some pretty concerning findings. Here are the key 12:

1. Only 19% of secondary places are in areas of high or severe need – 81% of the places are in areas which aren’t facing any severe shortage.

2. 42 schools have opened in areas with no forecasted place need – These schools cost £241 million. Which you might think was okay until you realise that….

3. No-one applied to open schools in half the areas with severe or high primary place shortages  – That £241 million might have been quite…

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