Effectiveness of free schools cannot be measured yet, report says

Effectiveness of free schools cannot be measured yet, report says

According to a report by the Education Policy Institute, it is not yet possible to conclude whether free schools are more effective in improving pupil attainment than other schools.

The report goes on to say that data on free school performance is mixed and it is too early to determine whether they have been a success.

The EPI report also states that the free school programme has been ineffective in targeting areas of low school quality.

It says: “Indeed free school places are more likely to be found in areas of high performance (such as London) than in the areas of low school performance (such as the North East). Some of this is, however, explained by the need for new places in London to address population growth.”

It also finds that free schools are more likely to be located in areas of disadvantage, but disadvantaged pupils in these areas are less likely to be admitted.

In areas with the greatest need for additional secondary places, free schools have created an extra 76 places per 1,000 pupils. They have also generated an extra 20 places per 1,000 pupils in areas that already have a surplus of school places.

The EPI finds that overall the expansion of existing schools - rather than free schools - have generated the most free school places.

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