Rebecca Morris

Doctoral Researcher

Rebecca MorrisCurrent Status

PhD (full-time): third year

Research Topic

Free Schools in England

Research Summary

This study focuses on the recent introduction of Free Schools in England with the intention of providing an overview of the policy in relation to issues of social justice and equity. The project consists of the following three stages:

  1. Using data from the National Pupil Database a picture of the student composition of Free Schools, their local alternative schools and Local Authorities will be presented. This will focus particularly on the extent to which Free Schools are representing children from different backgrounds when compared with other schools.
  2. Documentary analysis of the admissions policies that Free Schools are using will help to build up an understanding of the types of oversubscription criteria being used to prioritise access and the implications of these choices on school intakes.
  3. Parents of children attending Free Schools have been asked to participate in a survey to help form an understanding of the reasons they have for choosing a brand new school. Survey responses have been followed up with a number of in-depth interviews to provide more detailed data on these topics.

Recent Publications

Morris, R. (forthcoming) Free Schools and disadvantaged intakes, British Educational Research Journal

Gorard, S. and R. Morris (2014) What are Free Schools the answer to? The Conversation:

Gorard, S. and R. Morris (2014) Plans for schools to prioritise poorer applicants look fair, but could be a disaster. The Conversation: 

Morris, R. (2014) The Admissions Criteria of Secondary Free Schools, Oxford Review of Education, 40 (3) 

Morris, R. (2014) Explainer: how do free schools allocate places?The Conversation: 

Research Interests

  • Education and social justice
  • Education policy
  • School choice
  • Teacher education

Research Supervisor

Professor Peter Davies and Professor Stephen Gorard


Three year School of Education studentship award

Contact details