Free Schools

Department for Education written question – answered on 8th December 2014.

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Photo of Barry Sheerman Barry Sheerman Labour, Huddersfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 3 November 2014 to Question 211963, for what reasons she agreed a derogation from the Admissions Code in respect of each of the 54 free schools referred to in the Answer.

Photo of Edward Timpson Edward Timpson The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

Further to my response to Question 211963, I replied to your Question 215695 on 1 December listing the (now) 56 free schools (including University Technical Colleges) where the Secretary of State has agreed specific freedoms. The reasons for agreeing these freedoms are listed below:

  • Permission to prioritise admission of children of staff without having to meet the two-year qualification set out in the Admissions Code: granted to enable free schools to recruit good quality staff quickly, to benefit all pupils.
  • Permission to prioritise admission of pupils eligible for the pupil premium: granted prior to the Secretary of State extending that freedom to all academies and free schools.
  • Permission has been granted for three UTCs to adopt two admission numbers for entry, in order to balance entry to each of their distinct technical specialisms to recognise the availability of specialised provision.
  • Permission to prioritise admission of founders’ children: granted only to schools where individual founders have played a material role in setting up the free school and where they continue to be involved in the running of the school.
  • Meridian Angel Primary School was permitted to admit a group of displaced children who were being taught as a temporary measure in the local primary school’s annex.

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