The Labour Party has sought to hold the government to account over its free schools policy, as recent figures show more than 100 free schools are hosted in temporary, makeshift sites.
The Guardian reports that the Department for Education statistics show, that around 25 percent of free schools do not have permanent premises.
One school has been housed on a temporary site for five years, and roughly half of all 429 free schools in the UK have been in makeshift buildings at one stage since opening.
Mike Kane, shadow schools minister, said it showed the government’s schools policy was in disarray.
“Their flagship policies are failing, and children and parents are paying the price,” he said. “Time and again ministers fixate on the name above the door rather than ensuring schools have the resources and teachers in the classroom to deliver an excellent education for all.
“Their free school failure means children in unsuitable temporary classrooms disrupting their education and threatening school standards.”
The Department for Education disputed that the schools were of low quality saying:
“…free schools are creating thousands of good-quality school places for children, many in disadvantaged areas.
“In some cases, particularly in cities where property prices are at a premium, it can take time to secure a permanent, high-quality site that meets the needs of the school and provides value for the taxpayer,” the spokesman said.
“We are taking a number of steps to streamline the process for acquiring permanent sites, including the establishment of LocatED – a new public body with property expertise that will be responsible for securing free school sites quickly and more efficiently.”
However, the DfE is understood to be looking to reduce the number of free schools going into temporary accommodation.
Free schools were brought in by former prime minister David Cameron and Michael Gove, then education secretary, who said they wanted to increase choice for parents.