More than 100 new free schools have been approved to open in England over the coming years, Prime Minister David Cameron announced on Friday.
The approvals will bring to almost 200 the total number of the new-style primary and secondary schools, which are state-funded but independent of local authorities.
They include a school in south London for vulnerable pupils, including teenage mothers and children expelled from mainstream schools; a sixth-form college in east Manchester supported by Manchester City football club; a "faith sensitive" co-ed in Oldham; and secondaries backed by universities in Birmingham and Plymouth.
Unveiling the list at Woodpecker Hall Primary Academy in north London - one of the first 24 free schools to open last autumn - Mr Cameron said: "I think its been a great success.
"What we are seeing is real quality, real choice for parents and it's a great part of our school improvement programme.
"Many more children are getting the education they, and their parents, want and deserve."
Mr Cameron said: "Almost all free schools are over subscribed."
He added that they are "really delivering" in terms of quality and competition, driving up quality elsewhere.
"The problem in our education system has always been that while there are good schools, there aren't enough good school places."
Free schools are addressing that issue, Mr Cameron said.
Free schools are established by groups including parents, teachers, faith groups and charities and have powers to decide how they spend their budgets and set their own curriculum, teaching hours and term times.
But teaching unions have claimed that they adversely affect neighbouring schools when they open in areas with no shortage of spaces. One free school, at Beccles in Suffolk, sparked controversy last month when it emerged it had received just 37 applications for 162 places when it opens in September.
Chris Keates, the general secretary of teaching union NASUWT, said: "Despite the spin put on this announcement by Downing Street, this is not a good news story.
"Free schools are opened at the expense of neighbouring schools whose already diminishing budgets will be top-sliced to fund them.
"Children and young people deserve better than to be used as guinea pigs in an ideological experiment."
The Department for Education said that 88% of the primaries approved on Friday are in areas with a shortfall of places and 63% in an area with a severe need for more places.
Cllr Alex Bigham