Michael Gove's free schools open in a few days. It'll be interesting to see whether they achieve any success.
I suspect we'll never know if they are better than other schools. No doubt they will be measured differently when it comes to results. I also suspect that the fact that they are an ideologically, rather than educationally, driven project that they won't be allowed to fail. So expect to see the exact amounts of direct funding being quite difficult to fathom, with various obfuscated forms of financial support that other schools won't receive.
The rub, of course, being that their freedom is supposed to replace a failing national curriculum. Mmmm, that's the NC that was a Tory invention in 1991, mainly as a response to bogus tabloid fears of left wing Local Education Authorities brainwashing our precious kids with their loony leftism and forced gayness. And now a new thing to replace old thing. The fears are little changed. Centralising control and exercising it through grateful proxies. Bypassing the swathes of immoral ill-disciplined (liberal lefty) teachers that populate normal inner-city schools. And still there's the suspicion that inner cities are run by Labour lefties who cannot be allowed to have access to our childrens' purely capitalist minds.
I bet that when it all comes out in the wash, in an age of cuts across the education system, the money per pupil spent in free schools will easily outweigh Gove's trumpeted pupil premium. And lets not forget that it was the Tories who relentlessly stripped cash out of the system over for twenty years, leaving schools, pupils and teachers gasping for breath.