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Free Schools: Admissions

Question for Department for Education

UIN 52119, tabled on 7 November 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many free schools have no spare capacity for more pupils.

Answered on

14 November 2016

There are now 345 open free schools. New schools typically open with one or two year groups and then increase in size by a year group each academic year. In some cases, a school’s capacity increases at the point at which it moves from temporary accommodation to its permanent site or a school could decide to expand in response to parental demand. Due to these fluctuations, we do not maintain a running total of the number of free school places available at any one time. However, we know that when they reach full capacity, the free schools already open will provide 180,000 new school places.

In addition, there over 230 schools aiming to open in 2017 and beyond; these schools will provide a further 150,000 new places when at full capacity.

A breakdown of the total number of pupils at each individual school is available from the school census on this link:

As the data represents the total number of pupils attending a school as of the start of the calendar year the most recently published data will not include the 56 new schools opened in September 2016. These new schools will create 36,000 extra places when at full capacity.