Budget: Government finds half a billion for free schools – and kickstarts the grammar revolution


The government is now providing £320 million to help fund up to 140 free schools. Of these, 30 schools will count towards the government’s existing commitment to open 500 free schools by September 2020, while “the majority of the remaining 110” will open afterwards in the next Parliament, according to the Treasury.

Theresa May writes: “If we are to give our children and grandchildren a fair chance to succeed in an ever-more competitive world, we have to build a future where’s every child can access a good school place.

“That means decisively shifting Britain’s education system and building a great meritocracy so that children from ordinary working families are given the chances their richer contemporaries take for granted.”

A further £216 million will be invested in school infrastructure to help rebuild and refurbish existing schools. This will build on existing plans to spend more than £10 billion on the condition of schools over this Parliament, the statement said.

TES asked the Treasury whether the £216 million was included in the £23 billion of capital funding that has been previously announced. A spokesman said it was “entirely new money”.




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Out with the old school? The rise of ed tech in the classroom

The Guardian reports that startups are creating toys that teach robotics, games that help kids code and apps for teachers in an industry forecast to be worth £129bn by 2020.

‘If schools stop teachers fleeing the profession, budgets will look after themselves’

The Tes reports that one department head provides her advice on maximising resources, reducing workload and improving productivity in schools.