Book a specialist meeting

Book a specialist meeting

Talk to one of NSN’s specialist advisers about your free school on a confidential, one to one basis.

NSN's team of specialist advisers are available to offer free advice on every aspect of running a free school or getting one ready to open - including project management, pupil and staff recruitment, finance, governance, school buildings and more. 

Our team has unique experience of opening free schools successfully and delivering ‘Outstanding’ education in an open free school. You can read more about them here.

Meetings with our specialist advisers are completely free, confidential and can be held in person at our offices in London or over the phone, at a time and date to suit you. They can be used to discuss your challenges, review plans or key documents and point you towards further support.

To book a meeting, please click on the button at the top of this page.

Examples of what these meetings can be used to cover are given below:


  • Academy trust strategy and development;
  • Effective systems for governors to monitor pupil progress, staff performance and financial management in the school;
  • Developing governance plans in the pre-opening stage;
  • Meeting your statutory responsibilities as an academy trust; and
  • Sources of training for trustees and governors.
“Having people available over the phone who have great experience, understanding and insight, as well as contacts in the right places, was very reassuring”

Project Management

  • Working with the DFE and EFA, including issues related to your funding agreement and Readiness to Open meeting;
  • Pre-opening Ofsted inspection and registration as an independent school;
  • Conducting a statutory consultation;
  • Identifying, securing and managing your site; and
  • Managing stakeholders.


  • Permanent or temporary site
  • FF&E
  • Working with EFA and LocatED
  • Managing buildings and site


  • Effective procurement;  
  • Efficient use of the Project Development Grant;
  • Financial planning, monitoring and reporting; and
  • Income generation.

Pupil recruitment and marketing

  • Reputation management;
  • Stakeholder and community engagement;
  • Effective use of different media channels, including national and regional media; and
  • Crisis communications and handing relationships with journalists.


  • Curriculum planning and development in the pre-opening stage;
  • Creating education plans and policies;
  • Teacher training and CPD; and
  • Preparing for Ofsted inspection.

To book a specialist meeting, complete this form