Mr Cassells said the school applied for Free School status to open the school up to more people than would have been able to join when it was a fee paying school. The school will open next week with 135 pupils and this will increase to 180.
He added: “People who pay fees to schools pay taxes as well to support the education system.” A DfE spokesman said: “The Maharishi School has a strong record of high academic achievement and its most recent Ofsted report said it was providing an ‘outstanding education’. It will be open to all pupils of any or no faith. The Maharishi School, like all Free Schools, will enter pupils for the same exams as other state schools.
“If test results in Free Schools, which will be published in league tables alongside other schools, are not good enough we can demand improvements and even take over the school. They will also be accountable to local parents and the taxpayer through regular Ofsted inspections.”
They will be funded on a similar basis and will have to abide by the same admissions rules as any other state school.”