Mainstream and 16 to 19

Pupils at Michaela Community School study a knowledge-based curriculum.

This section is designed to give you step-by-step advice on each section of the free school application form. 

NSN has produced detailed guidance on the application form which can be found here. In addition to these, we have a wide range of other resources that look at specific areas of the application in more detail.

To make the best use of these resources, you should also look at the relevant DfE application forms and criteria.

Application resources

NSN has created some resources that you will find useful when addressing difficult aspects of the DfE’s free school application criteria.


You will need to demonstrate to the DfE that you have robust plans for how your free school will be governed and a strong team to deliver the school.

Mainstream finance

Every application has to show that the planned school will be financially viable and provide accurate financial plans.

Mainstream and 16-19 admissions

Although you don’t have to include your admissions policy as part of your application, you should start to develop your plans for admissions during the application phase.


Guidance on what you can do to identify a site at application stage.

Due diligence (Section I)

Applicants need to submit detailed information on team members to allow the DfE to perform background checks.