Special and Alternative Provision free school competitions | NSN

Joint special and AP free schools wave

This page outlines the application process through which you can set up a special or alternative provision (AP) free school through the local authority-led special and AP free school wave. 

The Department for Education (DfE) has launched the local authority-led special and alternative provision (AP) free schools competition. The application criteria can be found on the DfE website. This joint special and AP wave is separate from wave 14, which is for mainstream applicants only. 

A list of local authorities with links to their published specifications is available here. As part of the joint wave, a number of local authorities are hosting engagement events for prospective applicants. NSN is confirmed to deliver sessions on the application process and the support NSN offers at the following events (Note: These events have not been arranged by NSN. To find out more about these events, please contact the relevant local authority.):

Local Authority

Event date

Time

Venue

Bexley

23rd April

10:00 - 12:30

For venue information, click here.

Cornwall

1st May

TBC

For venue information, click here.

Halton

21st May

TBC

For venue information, click here.

Hartlepool

20th May

13:00 - 16:00

For venue information, click here.

1st July

Kent

29th April

9:30 - 11:30

For venue information, click here.

Kingston upon Thames

24th May

14:00 - 16:00

For venue information, click here.

Leeds

29th April

9:30 - 12:30

For venue information, click here.

Newham

14th May

13:00 - 16:00

For venue information, click here.

Norfolk

11th June

10:00 – 16:00

For venue information, click here.

North Lincolnshire

16th April

13:30 - 16:30

For venue information, click here.

North Somerset

8th May

14:00 - 16:00

For venue information, click here.

North Yorkshire

30th April

10:00 – 12:00

For venue information, click here.

20th May

Oxfordshire

11th June

16:30 – 18:00

For venue information, click here.

Richmond upon Thames

23rd May

14:00 - 16:00

For venue information, click here.

Rochdale

21st May

10:00 – 12:00

For venue information, click here.

Solihull

21st May

TBC

For venue information, click here.

Somerset

21st May

13:00 - 16:00

For venue information, click here.

Stoke-on-Trent

17th May

13:30 – 15:00

For venue information, click here.

Warrington

9th May

13:30 - 15:30

For venue information, click here.

 

The application process

  • Setting up a free school involves completing a DfE application form that meets a local authority’s (LA) specification document. You will submit the application to the DfE and LA.  
  • The DfE ask you to pre-register
  • The DfE and LA assess your application against their criteria and decide whether or not to invite you to attend an interview where they will question you on your proposal. They then decide whether or not to approve your proposal based on your application and your performance at interview.

The deadline for proposer groups to submit their application is 30th September 2019 (midday). It is expected successful providers will be announced in Winter 2019/20.  

NSN support

New Schools Network supports groups applying to open special and alternative provision free schools. As part of the joint Special and AP wave, a number of local authorities will be hosting engagement events for prospective applicants that NSN will be attending. You can see which events are confirmed by clicking here.

If you are interested in applying for a live competition and would like to apply to join NSN's Development Programme, click here. Alternatively, you can contact us on info@newschoolsnetwork.org or call 02075379208 .