Definition of free school in English:

free school


  • 1(in England) a school set up by an organization or a group of individuals, funded by the government but not controlled by the local authority.

    • ‘Three more free schools will open in Greater Manchester next year with more than 100 due to open across the UK from 2013.’
    • ‘As a free school we have chosen not to adopt the national curriculum.’
    • ‘Currently, schools - unless they are academies or free schools - must ensure that all meals meet strict nutritional standards, such as correct levels of salt, fat and sugar.’
    • ‘Two existing independent schools will join the state sector as free schools.’
    • ‘The first term has begun for the 57 pupils at Corby's new free school, which has opened in an old teacher training building.’
    • ‘Twice as many new free schools will start the new term this week compared with last year, as 55 open their doors for the first time, the Government has announced.’
    • ‘The national curriculum will set a benchmark for academies and free schools to measure themselves against, and for parents to use to hold them to account.’
    • ‘Staff and parents at the borough's first free school are planning fundraising activities as the first term looms closer.’
    • ‘While the efforts of those individuals who set up free schools may be commendable, the overall effect on society is to deepen social segregation.’
    • ‘I want more free schools, more Academies, more rigorous exams in every school, more expected of every child.’
    • ‘Governors say a new free school in Bedford will open next month, despite a fresh planning application being rejected.’
    • ‘Our local free school is starting up this autumn.’
    • ‘Plans for a free school in County Durham are gathering pace following two information days for prospective parents and pupils.’
    • ‘Parents who have set up the school said the introduction of free schools made their hopes of specialist education for autistic children a reality.’
  • 2historical A school for which no fees were charged, typically run at public expense.

    • ‘The foundation of the school is taken to be the October 24, 1546, when Holgate received letters patent for the foundation of three free schools at York, Old Malton and Hemsworth, where he was born, from Henry Vlll.’
    • ‘Flamsteed attended Derby free school which prepared children for a university education.’
    • ‘After ordination he took charge of the Little Friary among the destitute in Cork, where he opened free schools and founded a charitable society in St Vincent de Paul's tradition.’
    • ‘Nineteenth-century leftists assumed all that was necessary to create a just society was universal suffrage and free schools.’