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13 July 2012
Commenting on Downing Street's announcement of the opening of a further hundred free schools, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers' union said:
"Despite the spin put on this announcement by Downing Street, this is not a good news story.
"Free schools are opened at the expense of neighbouring schools whose already diminishing budgets will be top sliced to fund them.
"They are not required to meet the entitlement of all children and young people to be taught by a qualified teacher.
"The curriculum is developed not to be broad and balanced and to meet the needs of all children and young people, but often on the basis of the personal preferences of the sponsors.
"Empty office blocks and other such premises will house some of the children.
"Free schools are not even required to have an intake of pupils before they open and taxpayers' money is committed.
"There is no evidence that free schools raise standards.
"Children and young people deserve better than to be used as guinea pigs in an ideological experiment."