Setting up a free school

To set up a free school, you’ll need to apply through the Department for Education (DfE).

A free school can be set up by groups like:

  • academies
  • businesses
  • charities
  • community or faith groups
  • independent schools (private, fee-paying schools)
  • parents
  • schools maintained by local authorities
  • teachers
  • universities

All applications to set up a free school must be approved by the Secretary of State for Education.

If you meet all the criteria, you can apply to run a: