Resources: Special | Page 2 |

Resources: Special

The resources below have been developed by New Schools Network to support groups applying to open special 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.

Skills gap analysis tool (mainstream, special, AP)

In order for the DfE to approve your application, you need to be able to show that your governing body will have the necessary skills and expertise required to set up a free school. This is a simple tool you can use to help determine the areas where you need to recruit additional people to your team.


Role of governors (mainstream, special, AP)

If a school is going to be successful, it will need to be able to rely on a strong governance structure and a dedicated team of engaged and skilled people. Here we look in more detail about the role of school governors. We set out what is expected of governors, describe how their roles change as these schools are established and offer advice on who you should seek to appoint to the role.


Completing the budget plan (special)

All applicants are required to complete a finance plan demonstrating how the budget is intended to operate at their proposed school. This guidance provides an overview of some of the key considerations for special free school applicants.


Finding a site guidance (mainstream, special, AP)

This document offers guidance on site, both at the application and pre-opening stages of the free school cycle. It details the actions that groups can take in the application phase to help identify a site. It also provides an outline of the roles that different stakeholders will take during the pre-opening phase.


Comparison of different types of free school (mainstream, special, AP)

There are many different types of school in England and this document is designed to help you distinguish between them. This document provides a brief description of academies (of which free schools are a type), maintained schools, and other types of school and provides information about how they compare in areas such as  curriculum, staffing, admissions and finance.


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. 


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.