Recently appointed director of New Schools Network says government and industry must ‘think creatively’ to find solutions

Free schools

The challenge of finding sites has been “the single biggest brake on the progress of the free schools movement”, according to the new director of free schools advisory group, the New Schools Network.

Natalie Evans said government and industry had to “think more creatively” about the availability of sites for free schools, and said it was a “major problem.”

She said: “The Education Funding Agency has been working very hard to identify suitable sites, but we need to be more creative about where schools can be set up – including building multi-storey schools rather than just having traditional two or three-storey blocks.”

Evans – who was speaking as part of an interview published in Building’s UK Education 2013-15 White Paper – took over day-to-day running of the New Schools Network this month from founder Rachel Wolf.

Wolf remains involved with the organisation as chair. She has taken up a role based in New York with Amplify, the education division of News Corporation.