Guidance

Apply to open a special or alternative provision free school

Guidance and application forms for proposer groups applying to open a local authority commissioned special or alternative provision (AP) free school.

Documents

Details

In July 2018, we launched a joint special and alternative provision free schools wave, where we asked local authorities to set out their case for why a new school would benefit their area. As a result, we selected 39 local authorities where we invited applications to establish a special or alternative provision school.

The deadline for applications has now closed, as of midday 30 September, we will no longer accept applications. We anticipate announcing the successful proposer groups in early 2020.

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 13 November 2013
Last updated 30 September 2019 + show all updates
  1. Applications have now closed.

  2. Added links to each local authority's specification.

  3. Added guidance and application forms for proposer groups applying to open and run a special or alternative provision free school.

  4. Removed the reference to the number of bids we will approve, following the announcement yesterday that we will no longer cap the number of bids.

  5. Added 'Specification for special or alternative provision free school bids' and 'Form for special or alternative provision free school bids'.

  6. Updated the guidance and criteria document and removed old forms and guidance.

  7. Added application forms and assessment criteria for wave 12.

  8. Updated assessment criteria and application forms.

  9. Updated documents with wave 10 information.

  10. Documents updated in preparation for Wave 9 applications.

  11. Updated 'Special free school application form: sections C to F'.

  12. Added updated 'Special free school application form: sections C to F'.

  13. Updated downloads for sections A,B,H and C F

  14. Updated 'Special free school application: criteria for assessment' document.

  15. Added financial template to help groups opening a special free school plan their budget.

  16. Updated with wave 8 information.

  17. Updated documents for wave 7 application.

  18. First published.