UK free schools are working

The UK version of a charter school is a free school. Mark Lehain looks at how they have gone in the UK:

Yesterday’s GSCE results make fine reading for free school advocates. For the second year running, free schools have come out on top of the tables, and this time they’ve absolutely smashed it.

Looking at the Progress 8 scores – a key assessment measure that captures the progress pupils make from the end of primary school to their GCSEs – free schools were the top performing type of state school, with an average score of 0.24. In layman’s terms this means that their students typically achieved roughly a quarter of a grade higher than expected in each subject.

That’s a huge difference.

Some sceptics have claimed that free schools don’t offer value for money, but these stunning outcomes have been achieved at schools that were, on average, 29 per cent cheaper to build than previous school building programmes. Once opened, free schools receive the same per-pupil funding as any other school, and they’re clearly using it well.

Just like NZ. The difference is the funding flexibility.

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