Special schools

Marchbank Free School is a special primary school for pupils with Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs.

These pages are designed to give step-by-step advice on each section of the application form. 

NSN has also produced detailed guidance on the application form which can be found here.

In addition to these resources, which are aimed specifically at guiding you through the application process, we have a wide range of other resources that look at specific areas of the application in more detail on our Resources page. To make the best use of these resources, you should also look at the relevant DfE application forms.

Admissions for special schools

Special free schools are able to admit both children with a statement of SEN/ EHC Plan, and those who do not have this.


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.


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.