NSN celebrates 51 new free schools opening in September

The Government today announced 51 new free schools will be opening their doors for the first time in September. These schools join a cohort of over 500 open free schools – the top performing type of state school at GCSE and A level, as well as being more likely to be rated Outstanding.

Schools that are opening next month that were supported by NSN include:

  • University of Liverpool Maths School, the first specialist mathematics school in the North of England. Following the great success of 16-19 maths free schools in London and Exeter, the Liverpool Maths School will develop problem solving, analytical thinking and solution creation skills by teaching maths, further maths and physics A levels. Through an Aspiring Mathematicians Programme, students will have access to masterclasses with university lecturers, support from PhD students, and preparation for careers in STEM. 
  • The Watling Academya brand new secondary school opening in Milton Keynes. Once full, it will cater for 1,800 11-16 year olds. The school plans to place Milton Keynes at the heart of its curriculum, using local history and the existing growth plans to equip students with the necessary skills to contribute to local and broader society. Watling Academy has a focus on STEM subjects, and plans to promote environmental issues and sustainability to its pupils. 
  • Bader Academy is a new special free school opening in Doncaster. The school will provide places for children and young people aged 5-19 with diagnosed Communication and Interaction Difficulties. The school, named after local war hero Sir Douglas Bader, will provide a bespoke curriculum to prepare students for later life, including social skills and independence. Alongside a child-centred curriculum, the school will provide innovative approaches to meet all needs, such as immersive environments and sensory integration.

Unity Howard, Director of New Schools Network, said:

“This is excellent news for families across the country. We know how popular free schools are with parents, owing to their phenomenal success, and it is fantastic that thousands more children will be able to access something different and something better in their local community.

“Opening a new school is, rightly, a challenging process – but I want to pay tribute to the teams behind these schools that have faced additional strain since the outbreak of the pandemic. From construction projects paused in lockdown to virtual recruitment, this cohort of new free schools has done a truly remarkable job in ensuring they are ready to welcome new children in September.

“New Schools Network remains available to support these free schools as they grow in the coming years, and we look forward to sharing their successes along the way.”