Three new free schools approved for Hackney

Three new free schools have been approved for Hackney today, as 38 across the UK received the go-ahead from the government.

Hackney New Primary School, Dalston Free Primary School and Hackney Wick Academy are set to open by next September.

Hackney New Primary School (HNPS), is an expansion of Hackney New School (HNS), a secondary free school in Downham Road which opened last September.

The new primary school will have an intake of 50 students from reception, and has earmarked the former fire station in Kingsland Road as a possible site, which was closed down in January by London Mayor Boris Johnson in a cost-cutting exercise.

Meanwhile Hackney Wick Academy (HWA) is a secondary school which will accept 150 pupils in each year group.

Free schools were a centrepiece of the Conservatives’ election manifesto.

Similar to academies, they are run independently from the local council, instead accountable directly to central government.

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They have the freedom to vary the school day, term times, the curriculum and teachers’ pay and conditions.

Opponents say free schools suck money out of the education budget however, and amount to privatisation of the school system.