When to apply
To apply to join our Development Programme you need to complete a written application and submit it in one of the application rounds we will be holding this year.
The next opportunities for groups to apply for our support are:
January – submit between 10th January and 17th January 2014
May – submit between 12th May and 16th May 2014
How to apply
There are different application forms for Mainstream, Special and Alternative Provision Schools - if you’re not sure which of these applies to your school then please read our guide.
Before you apply for our support you will need to think about which of the DfE’s application windows you intend to apply in. Groups who intend to apply to the DfE sooner will be asked to demonstrate more developed plans to reflect the shorter timescale they will have to complete a full application to open a Free School.
There is a separate application form for those who have already been approved to open a Free School by the DfE and wish to open another Free School of the same age range and type. This form is the same for all the application rounds.
The forms and criteria you need to apply for the Development Programme as well as guidance on how to apply can all be accessed here.
We would strongly encourage you to apply for our support as soon as you are ready to. We have given dozens of groups our intensive Development Programme support and they say it makes a big difference. Applying will help you to focus on some of the key issues all Free School applicants must work through - and if you are unsuccessful you can reapply at a later stage. All groups will receive feedback on their plans when they apply.
Please note that though we expect our Development Programme to provide groups with significant additional support, it is not linked to the DfE's assessment process in any way.