News round-up: Romford free school postpones opening

Oasis Academy Romford has announced that it will not open as planned in September, several days after it revealed that its proposed temporary site had fallen through, the Romford Recorder reports:

More than 40 children do not know where they will go to school in September after Romford’s first free school today postponed its opening.

News round-up: Oxbridge success for London Academy of Excellence free school

The first sixth form free school - London Academy of Excellence - is celebrating A-Level success, with students set to take up places at leading universities, The Times reports:

A free school has achieved outstanding results from its first cohort to take A levels, despite the deprived backgrounds of many of its pupils.

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E-ACT free school ‘not closing’ – DfE

The Department for Education has rejected the characterisation of changes at a north London school as a second closure for its flagship free schools programme.

The question arose after a consultation website for Hartsbrook E-ACT free school stated that the school would be issued with a new Unique Reference Number (URN) as part of a move to a new academy trust.

News round-up: Last-minute change of site for Romford free school

A free school set to open in September in Romford, Essex, has become the latest to be hit with last-minute problems over its site, the Romford Recorder reports:

Romford’s first free school has been forced to secure a new temporary site less than two months before the start of its first term.

News round-up: Research finds free schools popular with non-white families

The first three cohorts of free schools are educating a higher proportion of minority ethnic pupils than the state sector on average, The Guardian reports:

The government’s free schools programme has proved to be popular with non-white families, according to the first academic analysis of the policy, which also found free schools attracted brighter and slightly better-off primary-aged pupils compared with the national average.

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News Schools Network director Natalie Evans receives peerage

Natalie Evans, director of the New Schools Network charity, which helps free school proposers set up new schools, is to be made a peer.

Evans will enter Parliament as one of 12 new Government appointments to the Lords.

EverythingFreeSchools interviewed Natalie Evans at the start of this year, where she spoke about the work the New School Network does, the challenges facing free schools, and and the future of the programme.

Catch up on our interview with Natalie Evans here:

News round-up: Bradford free school postpones September opening

A Bradford free school set to welcome its first pupils in September has had to postpone opening for a year, the Bradford Telegraph and Argus reports.

The school - Khalsa Engineering Academy - is the second to have pushed back its opening in recent weeks, joining Beckenham Harris Primary Academy in delaying its launch:

PLANS to open a new free school on the site of a former Bradford community centre have been put on hold.

News round-up: Kings Science Academy principal sacked

The founding principal of the troubled Kings Science Academy free school has been sacked, the Yorkshire Post reports:

THE PRINCIPAL and founder of one of the country’s first free schools has been sacked following a disciplinary investigation

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Free school Ofsted ratings: all primary and secondary free school ratings live on EverythingFreeSchools

The first free schools have been open for nearly three years, with the schools now an established part of their communities.

For secondary free schools, in most cases this means it will be at least another two years until exam results are available, and even longer until there is a track record of results by which to judge the performance of the new schools.

News round-up: Vandalism at controversial Reading free school site

A bitter row over the placement of a new free school in Reading has seen a banner that was hung to protest against the chosen site vandalised, the Reading Chronicle reports:

Angry neighbours in Upper Warren Avenue have been fighting the Education Funding Agency’s (EFA) decision to build the Heights Primary Free School at the derelict High Ridge site in their street.