Sunday, October 09, 2011

2012 free schools and UTCs to be announced this week

This week we will learn which free schools are likely to open and where in September 2012. There are rumoured to be 55 in the pipeline. Some of the free schools may be formed under the powers to create 16-18 academies contained in the Education Bill expected to received Royal Assent this autumn. This will intensify the growing competition for 16-18s.

It will also be interesting to see how many are new schools as opposed to transfers from the independent fee-paying sector.

The media may well highlight some of the moves within English football to promote free schools. Last week Everton FC’s charity announced that it had been successful in reaching the financial stage of the free school application process. Further down the line, it seems that a new sixth form college may be part of Manchester City’s ambitious plans for the future. There was talk of the Premier League and free schools as far back as August 2010 but there is now clear progress.

There will also be the announcements of the 2012 University Technical Colleges. This weekend there was some media coverage of the Silverstone UTC set up in partnership with Tresham College and the motorsport industry. UTC are technical schools intended to provide a rigorous vocational curriculum with close links to business. They are a hardly noticed policy innovation.

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