The New Schools Network wants any group with a vision, a coherent plan and support from parents to be able to set up a school. If parents choose to send their child to that school, it should receive public money.
How we work - our two tier support
Our support is completely free to groups, and is in two forms:
- Universal support for all groups who wish to set up a Free School;
- Development programmme which offers intensive support to 60-80 groups.
Anyone who wishes to set up a school can access:
- Free On The Road training events;
- A 1:1 surgery with an adviser;
- Advice from an adviser;
- In-depth guidance on how to set up a school; and
- The ability to find volunteers and talk to others setting up schools.
You can register for an event and a surgery here.
We would advise every new Free School applicant to have attended one of our events and met with an adviser before they apply for further support, although this is not compulsory.
(If you have applied before please see our FAQs)
Our Development programme
Once you have attended an “on the road” event and met with an adviser you should complete an application for further support.
NSN will work intensively with 60-80 groups who write successful applications and are interviewed by our advisers and specialists. Our extra support will include:
- A grant of £5,000 to aid marketing and other activity;
- A named adviser who will work with you to complete and help project manage your application;
- Access to specialists including former head teachers, school business managers, and specialists in Alternative Provision and SEN; and
- Access to a series of tailored workshops on completing a high quality application and opening a good school.
- Full feedback on drafts of your application to the DFE.
We will also try and find experienced volunteers in education, law, finance and other areas to help strengthen your steering group. We will also offer mock interviews to groups who register, on a first come first served basis.
NSN does not:
- Write applications for groups – it is important that the application reflects your own work and capacity
- Advise you on the outcome of your application – we are not part of the DfE and only they can tell you whether you have been accepted
- Change government policy – we will, like many charities, ask government to change policy but we are not part of government
Individuals who would like to propose amendments to the policy are urged to contact their local MP and the DfE.