Over a hundred free schools approved in England

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The 131 schools will create just under 70,000 new places for students, says the Department for Education, but the project has been criticised by Labour.

Angela Rayner, the shadow education secretary, attacked the free schools programme for being “an enormously expensive and inefficient way to create school places."

“While new school places are welcome and necessary, the Government are failing to deliver the number of places that will be needed by 2020… Today’s announcement alone almost certainly comes with a huge price tag, without necessarily even providing new school places in the areas that need them most. 

A list of free schools either active or in the "pre-opening" stage can be found here. The National Audit Office reported that the cost of the programme would reach £9.7 billion, and this comes at a time when many secondary schools are criticising the government for spending cuts.

Education Secretary Justine Greening defended the project, saying "They give us the school places we need for the future, and they also give parents more choices."