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The government has pledged to open 500 free schools before 2020. The Church of England is reportedly aiming to open a quarter of these. This proportion of new schools would maintain the current ratio of one in four free schools in England that are C of E. Over a million children in the UK attend the 4,417 primary and 209 C of E secondary schools in England. Stephen Conway, the Bishop of Ely is quoted as saying that “As the [education] system has fragmented from a dual system to one of multiple providers, we find ourselves as the largest single provider of schools and academies across the country.” Free schools are allowed to be selective based on faith for 50% of their places if they are oversubscribed.

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