With Free Schools, many more academies, University Technology Colleges and even Studio Schools opening this September we have a rapidly changing education system. What I’ve tried to do is summarise these changes, pulling together information from several sources, to provide an overall picture of UK schools.
The Government has today announced that 55 new Free Schools will open this September. The first 24 Free Schools opened in September 2011 while a further 114 have been approved to open in 2013 and beyond.
Free Schools aim to achieve higher standards and offer a genuine alternative. They are funded by the Government but have greater freedoms than local authority-run schools. They are run by teachers – not local councils or Westminster politicians – and have freedom over the length of the school day and term, the curriculum and how they spend their money.
Of the new Free Schools opening this September:
- 19 are primary schools, 19 are secondary schools and seven are all-age schools. There is one 14-19 school and one 16-19 school. Five are alternative provision schools – the first Free Schools of their type – and three are special schools.
- The schools are spread across England. They are primarily concentrated in areas of deprivation or areas where there is a shortage of school places. 25 of the 55 schools are located in the most deprived 25 per cent of communities in the country. 33 of the schools are in areas where there is need for more school places.
- 12 have been set up by teachers, 19 by parent or community groups, 9 by charities and 13 are set up by existing education providers. Two existing independent schools will join the state sector as Free Schools.
As of 1 July 2012 there are 1957 academies open in England. These academies are listed in the all open academies spreadsheet available to download from the associated resources section of the DfE web site. This information is updated once a month.
The location of open academies can also be seen on our publication list spreadsheet, also available to download, shows details of schools which have formally applied for academy status and progress towards conversion, including all academies that have opened in the academic year 2011/12.
Academy applications have continued at the rate of 50 – 60 per months. The current numbers are:
- 2311 applications receives
- 2160 applications approved
University Technology Colleges
University Technical Colleges (UTCs) are the best-known model of technical academies. They specialise in subjects that need modern, technical, industry-standard equipment – such as engineering and construction – and teach these disciplines alongside business skills and the use of ICT.
On 29 May 2012, 15 new University Technical Colleges (UTCs) were approved to enter the pre-opening stage. This takes the total number of UTCs that are in pre-opening stage to 32.
UTCs are spread across England and specialise in demanding technical subjects, including advanced engineering, digital technologies and bio-medical sciences. Almost 200 major national and local employers have been involved in developing these projects. Working in partnership with universities and employers, UTCs will provide a new generation of school leavers with the technical knowledge and skills that industry demands.
The Government is set to deliver the 24 UTCs by 2014 that were committed to in the Budget 2011, and create opportunities for more than 20 000 young people to train as the engineers, scientists and technicians of the future.
Studio Schools are innovative new schools for 14- to 19-year-olds, delivering project-based, practical learning alongside mainstream academic study. Studio Schools offer academic and vocational qualifications, but teach them in a practical and project-based way. Study is combined with work placements with local and national employers who are involved in the school.
Learning in this way encourages students to develop skills like punctuality, good communication, reliability and team working, whilst gaining a strong grounding in English, maths and science.
These new schools, which are set up with the backing of local businesses and employers, are part of the Government’s drive to ensure the education system responds to demands from employers for the skills they need to grow and prosper. Employers say that ensuring our young people have these important skills should be a top education priority for the Government.
12 new Studio Schools have been approved to open in 2012.
To complete the picture here are the latest school numbers from the DfE:
|East Midlands||2316 schools||1888 schools||560 schools||387 schools|
|East of England||3014 schools||2452 schools||835 schools||526 schools|
|London||3113 schools||2412 schools||945 schools||710 schools|
|North East||1239 schools||1022 schools||301 schools||165 schools|
|North West||3560 schools||2845 schools||887 schools||525 schools|
|South East||4096 schools||3275 schools||1212 schools||813 schools|
|South West||2807 schools||2289 schools||730 schools||478 schools|
|West Midlands||2702 schools||2079 schools||761 schools||521 schools|
|Yorkshire and the Humber||2493 schools||2049 schools||555 schools||366 schools|
|Total number of schools :||25340||20311||6786||4491|