Why should I choose New Schools Network?

Since 2009, NSN has been the driving force behind the free schools policy. NSN has worked with over two thirds of open free schools nationwide, encompassing every type and provision.

Our range of experience and skills is unrivalled. Through our network of Specialists, who themselves have opened, advised and worked in free schools and our knowledge, experience and network, we are the organisation best positioned to help make your school's pre-opening process a success.    

Why is your support free during the application stage?

As an independent charity, our aim is to ensure there is a good school for every child. As groups voluntarily spend their time working on a free school application, up to the point of approval, all of our support is free of charge. We have the knowledge, experience and expertise to support proposer groups to submit a high-quality application to the DfE; groups on the NSN Development Programme are 50% more likely to be approved. As free school numbers continue to grow and we remain committed to supporting all free schools, we offer some services to groups in pre-opening for free, such as our Launch Assessment tool and the NSN Foundation Service.

The DfE give a Project Development Grant (PDG) to assist groups as they navigate the complexities and challenges of the pre-opening process. The PDG is designed to help groups meet the demands they will face during the pre-opening phase, particularly when their capacity is limited through other commitments. Developed to complement support from the DfE, ESFA and LocatEd, we offer groups in pre-opening the chance to purchase further, intensive support with any and all of the key pre-opening work streams through our Delivery Programme.

How do I decide what level of support I need?

The NSN Delivery Programme offers services for each of the key work streams in pre-opening. Your support can be tailored to the areas that you feel that the project would benefit from additional expertise and capacity.

All groups in pre-opening can access our universal. Groups should contact us in order to arrange a call with an NSN Adviser, the purpose of which would be for us to determine what further support is required for your project during the pre-opening process.

Groups who identify a need for further external support through a conversation with an Adviser may want to further discuss access to our Delivery Programme, where exclusive packages of flexible support will be offered to groups in accordance with their requirements and approach.

Can I tailor the packages to my own needs?

The NSN Delivery Programme has been developed over three years by experienced NSN Advisers, our network of external Specialists, as well as existing free school leaders. All of our support builds on the guidance you will receive from the DfE, ESFA and LocatEd, and has been developed in consultation with these key stakeholders.

Through the Delivery Programme you can  purchase a synthesis of different services to meet the needs of your project. You can find more information about each of our products through the links on the Delivery Programme home page and in our brochure.

Why is the Delivery Programme exclusive?

Having worked with over two thirds of open and approved free schools, NSN is in a unique position to offer the support and guidance necessary to facilitate a successful pre-opening. Our experience is unrivalled by any other organisation.

To ensure we are working with groups who will most value our support, we work only with a select number whose requirements and approach will benefit most from the NSN Delivery Programme. This also allows our team of NSN Advisers and Specialists to provide high-quality support by working only with a small number of groups.

What experience do you have of supporting groups in the pre-opening process?

NSN has worked with over two thirds of open and approved free schools, throughout the application, pre-opening and open phases. We have experience of providing advice and support to open free schools on all areas of pre-opening, such as governance, curriculum, finance and media. As the number of free schools continues to grow, we have refined our support services; the NSN Delivery Programme is the result of this expertise and experience.

NSN Advisers and Specialists have worked on over 500 free school projects. Ranging from supporting groups in the pre-opening phase, to setting up and working in free schools. As the leading voice for free schools, our network of open schools and schools approved to open is unmatched by any other organisation.