Free schools: admission and referral policies

Guidance and templates to help free schools write their admission and referral policies.


Free school admissions: guidance

Special free school admissions: guidance

Mainstream free school admissions: template

Free school admissions: models

Free school admissions: common issues


These documents will help free schools draft fair and clear admission and referral policies.

The ‘guidance’ documents explain how to develop admission policies for free schools and special free schools. You should read them alongside the school admissions code.

The ‘template’ documents will help you draft your school’s admission and referral policies.

The ‘models’ document provides examples of admission arrangements that comply with the school admissions code.

The ‘common issues’ document gives advice on problems you may have when drafting and applying your admission policies.

Special free schools are free schools for children with special educational needs or disabilities.

Alternative provision is for pupils who can’t attend mainstream school for a variety of reasons, such as school exclusion, behaviour issues, short- or long-term illness, school refusal or teenage pregnancy.

If you have problems downloading any of the documents on this page, please email us:

Free schools pre-opening team