Free Schools

Place Group has been deeply involved with the Free Schools movement since its inception, having helped proposers apply for and successfully open 53 new schools so far, with another 20 in the pipeline.

Place Group has a near 100% record in helping proposer groups reach an interview with the Department for Education (DfE), and a 90% success rate of then being approved into pre-opening.

As one of the market leaders in establishing new schools through the Free Schools and LA Presumption processes, we can help you to develop compelling applications and professionally manage the pre-opening of mainstream, special and alternative provision new schools. We continue to support multi-academy trusts across the country, including many Church of England Dioceses working with the Church of England Education Office.

Place Group was responsible for producing the first Free Free School application to land on the minister’s desk in 2010 and to this day we are working with Proposer groups nationwide.

These groups, led by a diverse range of people and organisations, have chosen Place to support them in the journey to open their schools and to make them a success in the first year and beyond.

To achieve this high level of success, we have drawn on over a decade of experience in supporting Government education programmes, to ensure that the unique vision of each group is turned into educational and economic reality. We continue to liaise with the New Schools Network and DfE on the challenges our Proposer groups are facing, and continue to suggest refinements to the process. This knowledge and experience means we are ideally placed to advise on the skills, time and resources needed to successfully establish and run a new school.

Place understands that no two new schools are the same and that each reflects the vision and aims of the Proposer group. Our consultants will advise and guide you to establish a school that you want, rather than one that fits a pre-defined model. From the initial application through to the successful running of the school, we can provide expertise and access to partnerships that allow your group to concentrate on ensuring the governance and community aspects of the school remain at the fore.

To find out more about these services or for general advice, please email: