Setting up a free school

Free schools at 10: XP uncut

What first inspired you to get involved with the free schools programme?

We saw High Tech High and Expeditionary Learning schools in the USA and we couldn’t just go back to what we were doing. Students at these schools articulated their learning in a sophisticated and purposeful way. We asked ourselves whether our pupils back home could do this. The answer was, at that point, a resounding, ‘No.’

Free schools at 10: Marine Academy Primary uncut

What first inspired you to get involved with the free schools programme?

Opening a free school is such a magical prospect; the opportunity is second to none. There is a brilliant chance to create the right ethos from the start and it enables you to set the standards, expectations and culture from day one. You also have the ability to appoint new staff and attract staff of the highest calibre, with the promise of career progression.

Free schools at 10: Canary Wharf College uncut

What first inspired you to get involved with the free schools programme?

It was actually 20 years ago when I decided I wanted to start a “free school” - I had made an offer for a school building in Hampshire. I was keen to offer independent style education for free, but I couldn’t find a secure income stream to support the school. After Michael Gove announced the free school agenda, I resigned from my job in three months. I had the vision, and was ready to roll, as soon as the free schools policy announcement came.