Twenty-two free school applications approved

Twenty-two applications for new free schools have been successful, which will create an extra 19,000 places.

Eighteen of these schools are set to open in local authorities identified by the Department for Education as having the lowest educational performance and insufficient capacity to improve – and areas that have not yet benefitted from the free schools programme.

Successful applications include BOA Stage and Screen Production – an exciting new 16-19 specialist college in central Birmingham, set up by the Birmingham Ormiston Academy, offering a range of vocational and high level technical qualifications for students wishing to enter TV, Film or Theatre professions.

Callerton Academy will be a 11-16 mixed secondary school in Newcastle- Upon-Tyne, led by Gosforth Federated Academies trust, which since 2010 has run the popular and over-subscribed Gosforth Academy, rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted. Callerton Academy will bring the benefits of this existing offer to the Callerton area of the city.

The Shireland CBSO Music School will be a new specialist music school, serving the Black Country and West Midlands. The Shireland Collegiate Academy Trust are working in collaboration with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra to provide young people from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to achieve musically at an elite level.

Michaela Community School Stevenage will be a mixed, non-faith secondary providing 1260 school places for 11-18 year old pupils and will be part of a newly formed multi-academy trust, including Michaela Community School in Brent, judged Outstanding by Ofsted in 2017.

Two new maths schools will also proceed to the next stage of development.

Leora Cruddas, Confederation of School Trusts Chief Executive said: "The Free Schools programme has provided thousands of much-needed school places across England. Free schools have driven innovation in the system and many have embraced cutting-edge quality informed by the best research, almost unheard of 20 years ago."

Applicants will be able to register their interest for the next round of free schools shortly, and will again target areas with low standards and demographic need for the new school places.

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