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38- Scrapped free schools 'wasted' nearly £140m, says NUT

April 19th, 2017 6:24 PM by Nour Ailan

Scrapped free schools 'wasted' nearly £140m, says NUT

Almost £140m has been "wasted" on free schools and other new types of school, which either closed early or failed to open at all, says a teachers' union.
The National Union of Teachers said the money was spent on 62 free schools, university technical colleges and studio schools which either closed, partially closed or did not open.
The NUT said the data was mainly drawn from government websites.
The Department for Education said free schools were popular with parents.
The figures were published by the National Union of Teachers during its annual conference - which had highlighted concerns about school budget shortages.
The union's general secretary Kevin Courtney said ministers should apologise to teachers and parents for the £138.5m "thrown away" on these abandoned projects.
'Appalling waste'
"These figures make clear that the free school, UTC and studio school programmes were ill-thought policies which, in many cases, resulted in an appalling waste of significant sums of money," said Mr Courtney.
University technical colleges (UTCs) and studio schools have an emphasis on vocational skills for 14 to 19-year-olds.
"In the case of the closed UTCs, an average of £10m was spent on each school, rising to £15m in the case of Tottenham UTC.
"That sums of this magnitude have been thrown away at a time when schools across the country are crying out for funding for staff, to provide a broad and balanced curriculum and to ensure essential resources and equipment are available, is criminal."
Education Secretary Justine Greening this week announced that 131 new schools had been approved under the free school programme, creating around 69,000 places.

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