Nottingham

Torch Academy proposes two new Nottingham free schools

Schoolchildren studying
Seventy nine free schools have already opened across England

An educational group that already runs two schools in Nottinghamshire is proposing to open two free schools in Nottingham.

Torch Academy Group is hoping to get approval from the government for secondary schools in West Bridgford and in the Sherwood area.

A consultation will take place with parents in the two areas.

The free schools, which would be funded directly by the government, would open in September 2014.

The schools, which would be independent of local authority, would have an enrolment of about 600 pupils each.

'More control'

Torch Academy already runs Toot Hill School in Bingham and the Meden School in Market Warsop.

About 120 year seven pupils would be admitted to each new free school each year.

Free schools are able to set teachers' pay and conditions and have more control over the curriculum.

There are 79 free schools in England with another 114 expected to open from 2013.

Torch spokesman John Tomasevic said: "Our proposals are designed to complement the existing secondary education infrastructure in the north and south of the city and provide parents with more choice when it comes to selecting secondary education for their children."

But the National Union of Teachers Deputy General Secretary, Kevin Courtney, said most parents wanted education to remain a public service and not to be hived off.

"We don't think there's any pent up sense of huge parental demand for free schools," he said.

A final decision on the current free school applications will be made by May 2013.

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