Applicant resources: Mainstream and 16-19 | Page 3 |

Applicant resources: Mainstream and 16-19

The resources below have been developed by New Schools Network to support groups applying to open mainstream primary, secondary and 16-19 free schools. These resources can be filtered by category using the function on the right. It is important that these resources are used in conjunction with the Department for Education's criteria for assessment.

Incorporating a nursery (mainstream)

Free school applicant groups can propose to open nurseries alongside their free schools. To apply to open a nursery alongside your free school you must demonstrate a need for nursery provision, show your team has the expertise to run the nursery, explain how the nursery will fit into the wider governance structure and understand how the nursery will be funded.


Guidance for faith free schools (mainstream)

Free schools can have a faith ethos or designation. For this to be approved they must meet a number of criteria to show that this type of school is needed and that it will be inclusive to those of other and no faiths. This document explains what interested applicants need to consider. 


Admissions (mainstream)

This guidance provides links to documents pertaining to admissions relevant to free schools, including the school admissions code, school admissions appeals code and free school specific admissions guidance published by DfE. The purpose and auience of each document are outlined and a summary of the content is provided. 


Preparing a press release (mainstream, special, AP)

 This guidance aims to help you draft a press release and offers some suggestions as to how to deal with any feedback you receive.


Using Facebook ads (mainstream, special, AP)

This is a step by step guide to setting up Facebook advertising. Some free school proposer groups have found this can be a good way to reach a very specific target audience. 


Marketing and communications guidance (mainstream, special, AP)

This guide is intended to support free school groups with their approach to marketing and communications. 


Completing section E1 - Curriculum (mainstream)

Section E is the heart of your application. Your education plan in E1 must explain how your school will achieve its vision through a curriculum offer that is balanced, ambitious and deliverable.


Becoming an academy sponsor (mainstream, special, AP)

An academy sponsor is an individual or organisation that has been approved by the Department for Education to support an underperforming academy or group of academies. This guidance provides an overview of the process of applying to become an approved academy sponsor.


How to prepare for your DfE interview

After submitting a written proposal, free school applicants may be invited to interview as part of the assessment process.    This resource provides some general guidance about what you should expect and what you can do to prepare. It is important to note that  each interview will be tailored to your proposal, and you should be prepared to answer questions on all aspects of your application.