The BBC is reporting that the government’s free school programme is being redirected towards the worst-performing areas of England, particularly the North East.
Ministers are targeting the next wave of about 35 new schools in the bottom third of lowest-performing areas.
It comes after criticism that the free school programme has focused on the wealthier South East.
The government will also give councils £50m to create about 740 new school places for children with special needs.
Free schools are privately run but publicly funded. All new schools have to be free schools, which are approved and directly funded by the DfE.
Malcolm Trobe, from the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “It’s very important to target resources into areas that are not performing well. That’s really good.
“If you are targeting all your money in one part of the country, one, is there sufficient demographic demand in these areas for the new schools? And two, how do you deal with demographic demand in the rest of the country?”
Announcing the money, Children and Families Minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “This funding will help to create thousands more school places across the country, with a clear focus on transforming the experience of education for children with special educational needs or disabilities.”
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