This area contains all the information you need to be given permission and funding to set up a Free School.
To set up a Free School you have to submit an application to the Department for Education (DfE). The process is not easy – you will need a team with a range of skills who are willing to put in a lot of unpaid time. But it is achievable – we have helped around 200 schools get approved in the last three years.
To help you navigate this section of the website, it’s important that you first download and read the guide at end end of this page to decide what kind of Free School you want to set up – mainstream, Special, AP or Hybrid. The DfE has different application forms and requirements for each.
Once you have decided what kind of school you want to set up you should:
- Sign up for one of our training events and have a 1 on 1 surgery with an adviser;
- Read our detailed guidance from ‘first steps’ to completing a full application; and
- Apply for further support through our Development Programme.
The next application window is for schools opening in 2015. The DfE hasn’t announced this yet but when they do you will find dates and details on this page.
You can still apply for our support though. The next application window is between 31st January and 1st March 2013. You can apply for our support (our “Development Programme” here.
Using our guidance
We recommend you read our guidance in the following order:
- Read our Free Schools 101 guide;
- Decide what kind of Free School you are applying for by downloading our guide;
- Read the First Steps guidance on how to build a team and develop your vision;
- Start seeking parental demand;
- Download our checklist and skills gap analysis from the Tools page to help you plan how to prepare your application;
- Read our full application guides; and
- Refer to the specific subject guidance when you need more help. You can use the links in our data sources page to help you complete your application.
We also strongly recommend you attend Free Schools Live! On 28 June to access detailed workshops and guidance, as well as sign up for a surgery with an adviser.