News from Darren Johnson AM: Funding for free schools 'irrational' - Darren Johnson AM

30 November 2012

The Mayor’s Deputy Mayor for education and culture has admitted that free schools will be funded even in areas with a surplus of places at outstanding schools. She said that the Mayor is also lobbying for extra funding to cope with the need to create an estimated 90,000 extra school places in London by 2014/15.

Darren Johnson said:

“We will have new schools funded in areas of London which don’t need them and no new schools built in areas of high demand. The policy is irrational and based upon the principle of the parents who shout loudest getting their own way. With a dire shortage of funds for new schools, the Mayor is effectively saying that a new free school has priority over a child in another part of London who has no school.

The Mayor can’t say that he is simply following Government policy on this, as his deputy Mayor for culture also admitted that properties belonging to the fire or police authorities may be sold to free schools at ‘red book’ prices, rather than through competitive tendering. The looming shortfall of 90,000 school places in the capital would be far better addressed through the Mayor's co-operation with local authorities in a properly planned programme of school building rather than the hit and miss approach of Free Schools."