This year's Development Programme cohort relects the increasing diversity of groups who want to set up Free Schools. Groups on the programme include those led by parents, teachers, community groups, schools and charities.
The schools these groups are proposing differ in their size, ethos and approach to teaching and learning - but all of them share a commitment to addressing educational disadvantage in their community by opening a new Free School.
We are still in the process of bringing succesful groups onto the programme. As we do so, their details will be listed here:
Mainstream and 16-19 Free Schools
Aspire Free School
A primary school in a deprived part of Croydon promoted by a group of teachers and education professionals. The school will focus on raising standards of attainment, whilst also offering a more holistic approach to education focussed on pupil well-being.
Oxford New School
A small, mainstream secondary school located in a deprived area, south of Oxford city centre. The school aims to have innovation at the core of its ethos, something which will be reflected in its curriculum, its approach to teaching and the qualities it fosters in its pupils. Promoted by a group of local parents and education professionals.
English Chinese Primary School
A bilingual primary school promoted by Manchester Chinese Centre with lessons taught both in English and Mandarin. The ethos of the Free School will be based around virtue, wisdom, solidity and teamwork. It aims to raise pupil’s aspirations and promote the engagement of parents and carers with their children’s learning.
Guru Nanak Academy
An all-through school with a Sikh ethos based around an innovative pastoral care system, promoting a 'home-school family' learning environment in which parents, teachers and students are encouraged to take ownership of students' education. Guru Nanak Academy aims to restore aspiration and promote community cohesion in an incredibly diverse but very deprived community.
A mainstream, 16 - 19 school based in Chapeltown, Sheffield; the proposal is being led by a group of teachers and Teach First graduates. The Academy at Chapeltown wants to offer a small, academic provision that does not currently exist in the north of Sheffield.
2 mainstream secondary schools in Nottinghamshire which will aim to dramatically improve achievement in an area with a history of educational underperformance. The school would become part of a multi-academy trust, following a curriculum with a clear focus on English Baccalaureate subjects. The group is led by a team which has improved an existing academy from ‘satisfactory’ to ‘outstanding’ in the last few years and are now helping to turn around other failing schools.
Jubilee Primary School
A mainstream primary school with a Christian ethos located in an area of Maidstone, Kent, where there is the opportunity to offer an alternative choice to parents through a school grounded in the community, bringing a fresh emphasis on academic excellence, teaching life skills, learning in a classroom without walls and fulfilling potential in sports and the creative arts. The school would meet the needs of a burgeoning population while restoring academic success through nurturing an ethos of 'excellence in education, equipped for life'.
Dv8 will be setting up a 16-19 Free School focussed on developing pathways to the creative industries; they will cater to pupils from London and be based in the borough of Waltham Forest. DV8 Entertainments was established as an event promotions company in 1996 promoting club events, tours and outdoor music festivals. In 1999 DV8 Entertainments became Dv8 Training and started delivering music, fashion and media courses on housing estates in Waltham Forest and the annual Eastside Community Festival at Marsh Lane E10.“The mission of DV8 Training Ltd is to improve the life opportunities of young people in London and the South East area through high quality innovative training in the creative industries”
Alt Valley Community School
An 11-18 co-educational mainstream school located in a very deprived area of Liverpool. The school aims to raise the aspirations of young people in the area and improve social cohesion by providing high quality academic and vocational education, supported by a campus of existing provision. The group behind the school is led by a local charity with a long history of working to regenerate the area.
Salisbury Sixth Form College
An innovative 16-19 STEM-focused provision based in Salisbury, an area disadvantaged by insufficient local 6th Form provision, meaning that for students who are unable to travel out of borough attainment and aspiration can be limited. The school will provide an innovative STEM focus to learning and promote industry links to help students forge successful STEM careers.
Khalsa Engineering Academy
A 1 form entry primary school in a deprived area of Bradford which will have an engineering and STEM focus throughout the curriculum which will be based on the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme. The school will have a Sikh ethos and will encourage children to experience the joy and creativity of learning.
East London Academy of Music
A 16-19 school in Tower Hamlets for disadvantaged young people dedicated to pursuing a career within the music sector. In collaboration with the music industry, the school will equip pupils with qualifications relevant to a career in music as well as ensuring they pass English and Maths GCSEs where they have not already done so. This group is led by 2 former teachers that trained with the Teach First programme, supported by a former principal of the Brit School and several high profile music artists.
A secondary school on the Isle of Wight which aims to improve poor achievement levels on the island. The school will offer a more personalised learning experience for its pupils, in contrast to the large secondary schools which have recently been created by the abolition of the island’s middle schools. The group behind the proposal is led by a number of teachers and senior leaders that work in local schools.
Paxton will be an All-Through School specialising in Sports. They will be based in Croydon and are led by a Primary head-teacher from the area.
Special Free Schools
An all through Special school in Lambeth for pupils who have autistic spectrum disorder. The group is led by local parents and teachers. The school aims to follow a combined ABA and SCERTS curriculum. It will cater for full-time pupils, offer dual placements and also provide outreach support to other schools in the borough.
The Rise School
A 5-19 Special school in West London for high functioning autistic children and those with Aspergers Syndrome. The school will offer dedicated provision for these pupils, many of whom currently struggle to realise their potential in mainstream schools or other settings. Promoted by a group of local parents, with the support of teachers and professionals from the sector.
Mendip Special Free School
A Special school in Somerset for children aged 3-19 who have autistic spectrum disorder. The proposal is being led by a committed group of local parents and is supported by Fosse Way School, an outstanding academy for pupils with a range of special educational needs. The school aims to be inclusive, ambitious and will help to fill a shortage of special school places in the area.
Alternative Provision Free Schools
The BEAL Partnership
An AP school in North East London for pupils aged 11-19. The school will become part of the Beal Partnership - a group of schools which includes an outstanding 11-19 school, a CLD unit and a newly sponsored academy. The new AP school will be situated on the existing Beal campus and incorporate Gifted & Talented provision in order to promote high aspirations for all the pupils that attend it.
Peacock Gym Academy
An AP school based in a deprived part of East London. The school is being promoted by an existing AP provider which is currently based in a community sports centre and has won national awards for its provision. The school will expand on the centre's current provision, which focusses on sport, physical wellbeing and vocational courses, to include GCSE English and Maths.
An existing charity that currently has AP centres across the country and are looking to convert a number of them into Free Schools. They currently inspire their pupils to develop their own unique skills through a number of creative vocational courses, focusing on developing confidence, improving behaviour and ensuring that pupils are prepared for life beyond school.
The Ideas College
An alternative provision school for pupils in Tower Hamlets aged 11 - 18. The aim is to use creative digital media to engage students who aren't currently fulfilling their potential in mainstream schools. The bid is being run by David Holloway OBE from the Ideas Foundation, and will draw on their experiences of running successful pilots.