New Wimbledon free school gets green light from government

Wimbledon will be home to one of 49 new free schools next year, David Cameron announced today.

Academy chain Harris Federation is set to open the Harris Wimbledon Free School for 1,150 pupils next year and will specialise in both enterprise and languages, including Latin.

The move brings the total number of free school places created since 2010 to almost a quarter of a million resulting in new schools being created more quickly than ever before.

Mr Cameron said: “Delivering the best schools and skills for young people is a crucial part of our long term economic plan to secure a better future for Britain.

“Free schools set up by teachers, parents and community groups are not only outperforming other schools but they are raising the performance of those around them, meaning more opportunities for children to learn the skills they need to get on in life.

“These new schools are an important part of our plan to improve education by raising standards and restoring discipline so our children can compete with the world’s best and enjoy a better future.”

Wimbledon is one of 25 free schools in London announced by the government, others including one designed to stop offenders returning to prison and The Boxing Academy which will harness the sport’s ethos to channel students’ aggression and learn discipline and teamwork.

A recent The Sutton Trust report revealed that, compared with other academy chains, Harris has the highest proportion of disadvantaged students achieving at least five good GCSEs, including English and maths.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan hailed the policy for giving thousands of children the choice of attending a quality local school.

Ms Morgan said: “Free schools give pupils the chance to attend an excellent local school.

“They are providing more choice than ever before to parents and ensuring that children have access to a high quality school place and the best possible education that prepares them for life in modern Britain.

“With the total number of approved free schools now rising to more than 400, the demand from parents, charities and education experts to set up the schools has proven the programme to be on of the most important modern drivers of social mobility.”

Image courtesy of BBC via YouTube, with thanks

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