Government’s Education White Paper acknowledges difficulty over securing premises for flagship programme

The government will make its own buildings available for conversion into free schools, according to a White Paper on Education published today.

The Department for Education acknowledged that “one of the biggest barriers” to setting up new schools was “securing land and premises.” The White Paper said: “We will lead the way by supporting new Free Schools to open in buildings that the Department owns or leases.”

The department says it has 25 free schools currently in the formal business case and planning stage, and expects “some” of these to open in 2011.

Elsewhere in the White Paper, the government restated its intention to cut down the bureaucracy and cost of school building projects, saying it would follow the recommendations of the Sebastian James review into Capital spending once it reports in December.