Submitted by Stephen Morris on 2012-09-11
West Yorkshire

Fight for funding: ‘Bradford One in a Million’

Free schools are run by groups including faith organisations, parents' groups or charities. They are independent of local authority control and funded by central government.

To a chorus of disapproval, government cash for Bradford’s One in a Million free schools institution was withdrawn a week before the doors were due to open on 3 September as a result of the lack of enrolled pupils. Plans to set up the Free School had a target of an initial intake of 50 pupils but had only enrolled 30.

Plans for the One in a Million school were to be placed in the grounds of Bradford City Football club which caused plenty of excitement for teachers and potential students.

The Department for Education (DfE) has asked the charity-run school to defer opening until 2013.

Unfortunately, the setup involved equipping a building next to Bradford City's Valley Parade stadium and has already cost the taxpayer £213,000. However, on the up side, the DfE has high hopes for the opening of One in a Million to go ahead in 2013.

An online petition has been set up by parents who have been left with less than seven days to find alternative schools for their children.


  • Free schools are set up by groups of parents, teachers, charities, businesses, universities, trusts, religious or voluntary group
  • They are funded directly by central government and are not in local authority control
  • Head teachers have more control over the curriculum, teachers' pay and conditions, term dates and the school day
  • Free schools were much talked about in the run-up to the general election in May 2010 and are the flagship policy of the Education Secretary, Michael Gove
  • Free schools must operate an inclusive, fair and transparent admissions policy and cannot be academically selective
  • There are now just under 200 in England