Two new free schools are opening in Suffolk next week with less than half of their places filled by pupils. Saxmundham Free School will enrol 104 children when it has space for 216, while Beccles Free School has 68 pupils and a capacity for 162. Critics said it showed the government should not have granted approval for the new high schools. In the Times, Philip Collins makes the case for opposition to free schools being nonsensical. “At a time when pupil numbers are rising, it makes no practical sense to oppose people, most of them teachers rather than parents, who are devoting a lot of time and effort to improving schools where they live,” he says. However, the Labour Party will warn today that millions of pounds of taxpayers' money is being wasted on free schools that fail to open or lack proper parental support. Meanwhile, the LGA has said that hard-pressed parents should not end up forking out for expensive uniforms because their child is attending a new free school or a converted academy that is 'rebranding' itself.
Source: BBC News