Set up a free school

Types of free school you can open, including mainstream, alternative provision and special free schools. Forms, budgeting, guides to setting up.

Services

  1. Apply to open an alternative provision free school

    Application forms and assessment criteria for groups interested in opening an alternative provision (AP) free school.

  2. Registration of free schools

    Forms to register a new free school and guidance on the school standards required.

  3. Apply to open a special or alternative provision free school

    Guidance for groups interested in opening a special free school or alternative provision free school.

  1. Mainstream and 16 to 19 free school financial template

    A tool to help mainstream and 16 to 19 free schools plan their budget.

  2. Special free school financial template

    A tool to help special free schools plan their budget.

See all services

Guidance and regulation

  1. Setting up a free school

    Set up a free school - find out what you need to do and how to increase your chance of success

  2. Free schools: how to apply
  3. Establishing a new school: free school presumption
  1. Free school pre-opening guide

    • Guidance
    • Department for Education
  2. Plain English guide to planning for free schools

    • Guidance
    • Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government
See all guidance and regulation

News and communications

  1. More choice as over 80,000 new free school places created

    • Department for Education
    • Press release
  2. Building a school system that works for everyone

    • Department for Education
    • News story
  3. David Cameron announces 31 new free schools on final visit as Prime Minister

    • Department for Education and Prime Minister's Office, 10 Downing Street
    • Press release
  4. Games Workshop founder and entrepreneur to open 2 free schools

    • Department for Education
    • Press release
See all news and communications

Transparency

  1. Free schools: open schools and successful applications

    • Department for Education
    • Transparency
  2. New school proposals

    • Department for Education
    • Transparency
  3. Free schools: applicant information for wave 11

    • Department for Education
    • Transparency
  4. Free school applications: assessing the need for more schools

    • Department for Education
    • Transparency
  5. Free schools: applicant information for wave 12

    • Department for Education
    • Transparency
See all transparency