Tens of millions wasted on free schools that closed or never opened amid ‘unprecedented’ funding crisis : Independent

At least £138.5 million spent on opening 62 free schools, university technical colleges (UTC) and studio schools that have either closed, partially closed, or failed to open at all, NUT analysis shows.

Tens of millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money has been wasted on opening free schools that have subsequently closed, according to an analysis of Government data.

A review of data carried out by the National Union of Teachers (NUT) estimated that at least £138.5 million had been swallowed by opening 62 free schools, university technical colleges (UTC) and studio schools that have either closed, partially closed, or failed to open at all.

According to the NUT, the figure – calculated using information taken from Government transparency websites, Companies House and media reports – would fund the employment of 3,680 teachers for a year, and provide £6,586 for every school in England.

It comes days after Education Secretary Justine Greening announced more than 130 more free schools were to be created as part of the Government’s pledge to generate 70,000 new school places to keep up with demand from the growing school-age population.

Angela Rayner MP, Labour’s shadow Secretary of State for Education, said the findings served as evidence the Government’s free schools programme was “deeply inefficient”, saying despite “billions” of pounds being absorbed, it was failing to provide school places where they are most needed.

READ MORE : INDEPENDENT

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