This week the Oracy All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) released its report Speak for Change, highlighting nearly two thirds of primary and nearly half of secondary teachers say school closures have had a negative effect on the language development of pupils eligible for free school meals. Findings like these have huge implications for social mobility.
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Before you embark on this journey, consider the unique challenges that opening a free school brings and address these issues in your marketing strategy. Common risks to think about are:
Identify the right project manager
Finding the right person to manage your project is essential. Your project manager will act as a critical mediator between the trust and the Department for Education (DfE) and should support and challenge the trust in its decision-making throughout the process. As well as possessing crucial organisational management skills, they will need to be flexible with their capacity and available to make quick decisions.
Planning to recruit
Opening a new school brings exciting opportunities, as well as unique challenges. For free schools in pre-opening, recruiting high calibre staff is essential for the successful opening and delivery of your new school. The team you have during your first year will help to put your school on track to an Outstanding Ofsted rating.
You could consider:
When a pupil entered our beautiful new atrium for the very first time and declared, “this feels just like a hotel”, I knew that after almost ten years in temporary accommodation we had finally achieved our goal to develop a truly exceptional, permanent building for Cobham Free School (CFS).
At the beginning of the event, Caroline Sharp, Research Director at the NFER, explained the importance of adopting an evidence-based approach for using Pupil Premium funding.
As a staff member at New Schools Network (NSN) with a career history in the world of special educational needs, I’m all too aware of the current crisis that’s facing some of our most vulnerable children. Starting as a teaching assistant in a special needs school, working closely with teachers, parents and carers on the frontline of the SEND sector, I later worked with a charity providing SEND law support before joining NSN - working with special free schools.