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.
Education Secretary Michael Gove said he hoped the controversial new schools would be "equally successful" as the 24 that launched last September.
However, Shadow Education Secretary Stephen Twigg labelled the move a waste of public money and accused Gove of incompetence.
Gove's announcement came just hours after he admitted that students had been let down by a "not entirely fair" exam system.
The education secretary made the comments prior to his appearance in the House of Commons on Monday afternoon, where he faces calls to come to Parliament and make a statement on resolving a growing row over the grading of GCSE English exams.
The education secretary has come under increasing pressure over the GCSE result, as well as receiving criticism after some free schools slated to open this week failed over the summer, including the One in a Million free school in Bradford, which abandoned its plans for 2012 last week, with Labour suggesting "the government puts all of its eggs in the basket of free schools."
Gove said: "Every child should have the choice to go to an excellent local school. These new schools have been set up by idealistic people who are determined to give parents the kind of choice that only the rich can currently afford.
"The first 24 free schools are enormously popular and I expect this second wave to be equally successful."
Liam Nolan, executive head teacher of Perry Beeches II, Birmingham, said: "This is a fabulous opportunity for us to expand our brand of success into a new community and to work with a new group of young people in the heart of Birmingham. This is one of the beauties of Free Schools, that the very best schools can extend their outstanding practice."
Marina Gutierrez, chair of the Bilingual Primary School Trust, Brighton, said: "I am delighted that this project has now become a reality and that Brighton & Hove's children will have bilingualism as an educational choice."
But speaking on Sunday on the Sky News Murnaghan programme Stephen Twigg said: "You've innovative teachers and headteachers opening free schools - I applaud all of that.
"But the problem we have got is the Government puts all of its eggs in the basket of free schools, so when they fail it is a waste of public money.
"The programme is not being tailored to those parts of the country that most need additional school places."
He added: "Part of the problem is there is a kind of incompetence here from Michael Gove because there is a determination to do everything incredibly quickly."
Labour shadow education secretary Karen Buck said on Monday that "demand" was the real issue about free schools, pointing out that 3,000 children were looking for schools.
“Frankly I don’t care what you call an initiative; what I care about is spending the money where there is demand, and in fact interestingly in this last year we’ve seen an increase in 3,000 children whose parents can’t find any place for them at all. So the fact is we have a £900m programme investing in free schools which is clearly not meeting the demand," she told BBC Two's the Daily Politics.
Last week funding for the 'One in a Million' free school in Bradford, Yorkshire, which was due to open on 3 September, was withdrawn at the last minute.
Both the DfE and the school's backers have refused to accept responsibility for the fiasco.
The list of 55 free schools opening this week including primary and secondary schools, establishments which cater for pupils through their schooling, and two schools which cater for pupils to the age of 19.
Twelve have been set up by teachers, 19 by parent or community groups, nine by charities and 13 are set up by existing education providers. Two existing independent schools will join the state sector as free schools.
The Department of Education said 25 of the 55 schools are located in the most deprived 25 per cent of communities in the country and 33 are in areas where there is need for more school places.