Transparency data

Free school applications: assessing the need for more schools

How we assess the need for a new mainstream school in a local area when we receive applications to open new free schools.



These documents explain the criteria we use when we assess the need for a new mainstream free school in a local area for each application phase (wave).

Mainstream free schools can be:

  • primary schools
  • secondary schools
  • all-through schools

They exclude:

  • 16 to 19 academies
  • alternative providers (places that provide education for children who can’t go to a mainstream school)
  • special free schools (for children with special educational needs or disabilities)
Published 16 September 2016
Last updated 12 April 2017 + show all updates
  1. Added 'Mainstream free school applications: assessment of need and deprivation, wave 12 update'.
  2. First published.