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13 October 2011, 11:36
Plans to set up Free Schools in St Albans, Harpenden and Hatfield are amongst 79 in the UK to be approved by government. There is a high demand for school places in these areas and it is hoped the new schools will help reduce this.
Free schools will also offer parents another option from sending their children to state schools, they are funded by the Government but are run by teachers who have freedom over things like the length of the school day, the curriculum and how they spend their money.
The new schools in Hertfordshire will be Alban City Primary School in St Albans, Harpenden Free School and Hatfield Community Free School. They are all set up by communities such as teachers, charities, universities, employers and parents.
Gill Jones is an ex-head teacher, Ofsted inspector and senior officer in the Council. She has been the main proposer for the free school in Hatfield as says: "We were expecting to originally hear by the end of September but the announcement was delayed, you start to worry that your application has not been successful so hear that it has been is fantastic"
The application process to set up a Free School changed this year and Gill say's that its now much more complicated. Gill said that to apply for Hatfield Community Free School they had to become a limited company.
The 79 new Free Schools across the UK will now join the 24 that were approved last year and opened last month.