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

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Wave 14 map: estimated primary places needed

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Wave 14 map: estimated secondary places needed

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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 against which applications received in wave 14 will be assessed.

The window to register your interest online closed at midday on 18 October 2019.

The deadline for submitting an application in wave 14 has been extended to midday on 11 November 2019.

Applicants who registered their interest before the deadline of midday 18 October 2019 will have received an application form.

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 18 October 2019 + show all updates
  1. Updated to show that pre-registration closed at midday on 18 October 2019.

  2. Added link to 'Apply to open a special or alternative provision free school'.

  3. Guidance updated, maps updated, sample application forms added.

  4. Updated document 'How to apply to set up a mainstream free school' and deadline for submitting wave 14 applications.

  5. Updated wave 14 maps for primary and secondary places.

  6. Updated application guidance and associated documents for the latest wave (14) of the free schools programme.

  7. Registration for creating a new free school as part of wave 13 closed.

  8. Pre-application deadline updated from 6 September 2018 to 1 October 2018.

  9. 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)'.

  10. Updated application guidance and associated documents for the latest wave (13) of the free schools programme.

  11. Updated guide with information for wave 12.

  12. First published.