Report finds almost half the free schools opening next week will be in mobile classrooms or temporary premises
Almost half the free schools opening next week around the country will be in mobile classrooms or temporary premises such as town halls.
An investigation by the Times newspaper found that more than a dozen free schools due to open next week have been delayed or beset by planning problems and that almost half of the schools opening next week will be in mobile classrooms or in temporary premises such as town halls and conference centres.
Other free school projects - a flagship policy of education secretary Michael Gove - have been abandoned or delayed only weeks before they were due to open because no suitable location could be found, the report said.
The report said 24 free schools opened last autumn and 79 were approved to open from this September. But only 52 are now thought to be doing so this year including some of those approved to open last year. Another 102 have been approved for opening from September next year, the Times said.
The report said many groups have struggled to find suitable premises because of planning obstructions, while have been stymied by a shortage of suitable property, particularly in urban areas, and by the tight turnaround between approval and opening.