Latest Issue

Has the free schools programme been a success?

They remain a dividing line in education policy. But what genuinely raises attainment for disadvantaged groups?

By Natalie Perera  

Michael Gove, who introduced . Photo: WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto/PA Images

In a competitive field, the introduction of free schools has been perhaps one of the more controversial education reforms of the last decade.

Eight years on from when the first free schools opened their doors, the Education Policy Institute has today published its latest assessment of how successful the programme has been.

State-funded, but independent of local authorities, free schools were introduced during Michael Gove’s tenure as education secretary in the early days of the Coalition government, and…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect