Manchester children with autism and severe learning difficulties will have a new place to learn as Prime Minister David Cameron announced the building of a free school in Wythenshawe today.
Piper Hill Vocational Learning Free School will open in 2016 as one of 18 schools announced nationwide by Mr Cameron.
The school will be focussed on helping children to improve their employability skills and independence, with diverse courses being offered such as horticulture and animal welfare.
The PM also vowed that his government ‘will not waver’ in their intention of building 500 new schools in the next five years.
The free schools programme is tackling the need for schooling in the areas that most need them, with 30% located in the nations most deprived areas, and 17% dedicated to alternative provision.
Mr Cameron said: “The aim of this policy is crystal clear – to increase the number of good and outstanding school places so that more parents have the security of knowing their child is getting a great education.
“Today’s announcement shows that we will not waver in pressing ahead with our plans to open 500 more of these innovative and exciting schools over the next five years, creating 270,000 places, delivering an excellent education and giving parents across the country real choice for their children.”
A further four free schools are set to welcome students for the first time this month: Eden Boys’ School in Preston, The Fermain Academy in Macclesfield, Unity Community Primary in Cheetham Hill and West Didsbury CE primary School.
Recent Policy Exchange Research have found that free schools have a positive effect on local communities, not just on the pupils that attend, whilst generally providing a high level of education – a fact highlighted by Education Secretary Nicky Morgan.
She said: “We know that free schools don’t just give parents greater choice, they also force existing schools to up their game.
“Today’s news sends a clear message that we are committed to extending this unprecedented level of choice to more parents than ever before.”
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