Free school news and press releases

Free School News

If you have a press or media enquiry, please contact press@newschoolsnetwork.org.

Tue 19 March 2019

Prior to the panel discussion, John shared his experiences opening The Charter School East Dulwich and provided a high-level overview of the many site-related tasks undertaken during pre-opening; offering a ‘view from the ground’ of the complexities finding and developing a site and building(s) able to deliver the school’s curriculum and founding vision.

Drawing upon his experience, John highlighted three key points to help pre-opening project groups navigate this process successfully:

NSN News
Mon 11 March 2019

The new free schools will cover the breadth of the country, including nine in the north, five in Yorkshire and the Humber and five in the Midlands, providing specialist provision for children with social, emotional and mental health needs, children on the autism spectrum and those with Complex Learning Difficulties. They join 76 open special and AP free schools and a further 66 approved but not yet open.

Luke Tryl, Director of New Schools Network, said:

Fri 8 March 2019

Two minutes after the beginning of the event, three of the four headteachers at my table told me their biggest concern was recruitment. My expertise took a hit. I understood, at once, that I had focused exclusively on mainstream teaching – though, seemingly, special schools are hit the hardest. They face the same recruitment and retention challenges as their mainstream counterparts, as well as having to deal with a unique set of additional needs.

Fri 1 March 2019

The free school landscape is diverse and many projects have had interesting and rocky beginnings; EHS is no exception, opening its doors in 2015 in temporary accommodation, with year 12 and 13 split between two sites, and separated by the busy A6110 ring road south of Leeds city centre! Fast forward three years and the college has settled into a purpose-built, state of the art building with excellent new facilities.

Thu 21 February 2019

The key point to draw from the day was the need for greater collaboration between all levels of education. Jennifer spoke about the role of free schools in raising social mobility. Free schools are set up in response to local demand and are designed to meet the specific needs of the local community, and autonomy over curriculum and teacher recruitment means free schools have the ability to tailor their teaching to specific needs of their pupil cohort.

Fri 15 February 2019

Earlier this week, Robert Halfon MP, Chair of the Education Select Committee, branded GCSEs “pointless” and called for their abolition, suggesting a ‘holistic baccalaureate’ qualification with exams at age 18 should be introduced. His is not the only voice arguing this, with some, such as former education secretary Lord Baker, arguing that existing qualifications are now redundant due to the requirement for students to stay in education or training until 18.

Fri 8 February 2019

The most recent application Wave, which closed in November last year, saw 124 free school groups submit applications. These explicitly targeted areas of long-term educational underperformance in addition to providing school places where they were most needed, based off a list provided by the DfE.

Fri 1 February 2019

Basic need and low educational standards

As in Wave 13, applications need to show a basic need for a high proportion of school places that the free school will provide. Section B1 on ‘evidence of basic need’ has not changed for Wave 14.