Free School News

If you have a press or media enquiry, please contact press@newschoolsnetwork.org.

Free Schools in the media
Fri 20 April 2018

Author of ‘Being Miss Nobody’ Tamsin Winter visited the Olive School in Blackburn this week. She delivered an assembly on the themes of her book such as bullying and anxiety and ran a workshop with Year 5 pupils.

Susannah Berry, Deputy Principal of The Olive School, said “it was amazing to see the smiles and enthusiasm from our pupils and be inspired to become authors themselves. Let’s hope we have produced some future authors!”

Free Schools in the media
Fri 13 April 2018

Etz Chaim Jewish Primary School in north London has received an outstanding report for Jewish studies from the Board of Deputies of British Jews inspection service. Inspectors concluded that Jewish education enjoyed a high profile throughout the school and pupils learned ‘exceptionally well’.

NSN News
Thu 29 March 2018

Mark Lehain, Interim Director, said:

"Combined with today’s announcement regarding the approval of 14 new special free schools, it reassures me that the free schools programme continues to be a priority for the government. With the next window of free schools likely to open in due course, NSN will continue to play an integral role in helping to drive up the standard of education across the country. I look forward to continuing to work with you over the coming months." 

Free Schools in the media
Thu 29 March 2018

The schools were approved through a new process called the Local Authority (LA) Commissioned Special Schools process. Local authorities invited special free school bids from proposer groups in 19 LAs across England. Their applications were assessed and approved concurrently by their LA and the DfE.

NSN supported 11 out of the 14 successful applicant groups. 

NSN News
Tue 27 March 2018

The Trustees of New Schools Network today announced Mark Lehain as the Interim Director of the free schools charity. Having worked in education for 15 years, Mark was the founder of the Bedford Free School, one of the first free schools in the country.

Bedford Free School thrived under Mark’s leadership and together with Elstow School, is now part of the newly created Advantage Schools multi-academy trust. Mark left Bedford Free School in 2017 to take up post as the Director of campaign group, Parents and Teachers for Excellence.

Free Schools in the media
Mon 26 March 2018

The Department for Education (DfE) today announced a new application process and ‘how to apply guidance’ for opening university-sponsored specialist maths schools, specialist 16-19 free schools for pupils who are mathematically able. They are supported by universities which offer highly selective, high-tariff undergraduate maths courses.

NSN News
Fri 23 March 2018

The Trustees of New Schools Network today announced that Toby Young has resigned. Toby has concluded that the media attention his continuing presence at the helm of NSN is attracting has become a distraction from the vital work it is doing and, for that reason, he has decided to step down. The Trustees will be announcing the appointment of an Interim Director in due course. The Trustees are grateful for Toby's work during his time here and wish him well in his future endeavours.

Free Schools in the media
Fri 16 March 2018

Students from the Purple Oaks Academy in Northampton, which caters for students with autism and severe learning difficulties, officially marked moving into the schools permanent building this week, with a book-giving drive to grow the school’s library. The new building is equipped with sensory rooms, a grass sports pitch, dedicated games areas and its own kitchen.