Setting up a free school
To set up a free school, you’ll need to apply through the Department for Education (DfE).
You can set up a free school as part of a group that can provide evidence of parental demand (eg a petition), such as:
- community or faith groups
- independent schools (private, fee-paying schools)
All applications to set up a free school must be approved by the Secretary of State for Education. Free schools must:
- meet a genuine need in the community, backed up by evidence
- have a good financial plan in place
- have ‘fair and transparent’ admissions criteria
Apply to open a free school
Find out how to apply and download the forms you need to complete.
The charity New Schools Network has more information for people interested in setting up a free school.
You can search for government property and land available to rent or buy for your school. You can also find data for other schools in the area.