Guidance

Free schools: how to apply

Guidance and example forms for proposers looking to set up new mainstream free schools.

Documents

How to apply to set up a mainstream free school: guidance

Wave 13 map: estimated primary places needed

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Wave 13 map: estimated secondary places needed

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Sample application form (for information only)

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Application form notes (for information only)

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Details

The Department for Education is looking to open new mainstream free schools in areas that currently have the lowest standards and where there is also a need for additional school places.

The ‘how to apply’ guidance explains the criteria that all applications received in wave 13 will be assessed against.

We received 124 applications in wave 13, and we will announce which applications have been successful in spring 2019.

More information on opening a free school is available.

Contact the New Schools Network if you need more advice on how to set up a free school.

Published 22 December 2015
Last updated 1 October 2018 + show all updates
  1. Registration for creating a new free school as part of wave 13 closed.
  2. Pre-application deadline updated from 6 September 2018 to 1 October 2018.
  3. Updated the deadline text and added a new version of 'How to apply to set up a mainstream free school: guidance'. Added new version of ' Application form notes (for information only)'.
  4. Updated application guidance and associated documents for the latest wave (13) of the free schools programme.
  5. Updated guide with information for wave 12.
  6. First published.