Free schools are independent, state-funded schools.
What is it?
Free schools are a way of improving choice for parents and driving up standards in schools for young people of all backgrounds.
The free schools programme provides teachers, parents, charities and community groups with the opportunity to set up new, independent, state-funded schools that raise educational standards.
As of April 2013, 81 free schools have opened across England, and 100 more aim to open in September 2013. Many have been set up by local parents, community groups or teachers.
How can I get involved?
The Department for Education (DfE) also has details of the process and the criteria applications will be assessed against.
Applications to set up a new school need to be submitted to the DfE, which runs 3 application rounds each year.
The process for setting up a new school has been streamlined. It usually takes little more than a year from the DfE granting initial approval for a school to the school opening its doors to pupils.
So, although the process for setting up a new school is rigorous it’s now much faster and simpler.