Flagship free school closes due to lack of pupils – Tim Warneford featured in The Observer

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Warneford Consulting’s Director, Tim Warneford, was delighted to be featured in the recent Observer article which reported on the challenges faced by free schools.

Free schools were an initiative launched by Michael Gove in 2010 whilst he was education security, with the intention of closing the attainment gap in England by allowing groups of teachers, parents and charities to start schools in vacant buildings regardless of whether local authorities felt they were needed.

There are not more than 650 free schools in England, with more waiting for premises. However, in many cases the scheme has suffered due to spiralling costs and extreme lack of due diligence.

Tim Warneford was pleased to have the opportunity to share his thoughts on the closing of Parkfield in Dorset, a government-backed free school costing in excess of £35m, which has failed to attract enough pupils. He states:

“There has long been a suspicion that the free school policy resulted in fire sales without sufficient due diligence.”

Our thanks to Anna Fazackerley and the Observer. To read the full article, click here.