Free Schools: Mainstream and Special

Free Schools Application Support

We have produced winning applications for all Waves of the free schools programme, including primary, secondary, all-through, and faith designated schools across the country.

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Pre-Opening Support

We project manage the pre-opening of schools, overseeing capital build, governance and education plans and policies, staff and student recruitment and successful DfE and Ofsted reviews.

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Post-Opening Support

Our areas of expertise extend well beyond the opening of new schools and cover all aspects of their day-to-day running.

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Special Provision Application and Pre-Opening Support

We deliver the same winning approach to creating applications for special and alternative provision free schools Wave

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Free School Application Support

We were responsible for producing the first approved business case for a free school in 2011. Since then, Place Group has worked on and helped clients receive DfE approval for over 60 applications to date.

  • We can produce full applications for all Waves of the free schools programme, including primary, secondary, all-through, and faith designated schools across the country
  • We can support clients who wish to produce an application aligned to a local authority presumption competition
  • We can produce applications for special education settings, click here to find out more

Our free school specialists are here to offer support, guidance and pragmatic options and solutions for you to consider, in order to make the application process as smooth as possible. We do this by:

  • Demonstrating a strong track record of providing a high standard of education
  • Evidence of good value for money, with an affordable education plan
  • For alternative provision schools; demonstrating how preparation for the next stage of a pupil’s life, e.g. reintegration to mainstream schooling (where appropriate), further education and employment will be realised
  • Creating a range of ‘scenario planning’ activities to demonstrate the financial aspects of the application and to determine the school’s viability
  • Assisting with the development of a communications plan to support the application, helping you to build and maintain local community support through public meetings and local media
  • Creating a comprehensive and credible free school application, which will aim to exceed the DfE’s requirements and successfully accelerate you through the approval process

Our support and technical authoring will always encompass the full requirement of the most up-to-date guidance, as well as other areas which we believe are crucial to opening a successful school and guaranteeing success in its formative years.

Interested in our Free School Application Support?

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Free School Pre-Opening Support

We have extensive experience of project-managing the pre-opening of schools, overseeing the capital build, governance and education plans and policies, staff and student recruitment and successful DfE and Ofsted reviews. To date, we have supported the pre-opening of 35 successful free schools.

Our support focuses on brokering or providing many necessary services and pre-opening elements, including:

  • Statutory Section 10 Stakeholder Consultation
  • Leadership Training
  • Governance
  • Facilities Management
  • ICT Support
  • Marketing and Communications

We’ll also undertake community engagement on behalf of free school programme applicants. We can reach out into your local community and attain a significant level of ‘sign-up’ support for your school/college from parents, families and community members. This will help to ensure that your first year of opening is full to capacity, aligned to the envisaged cohort number. We also have significant experience of generating support online, including through social media.

Interested in our Free School Pre-Opening Support?

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Free/New School Post-Opening Support

There will be a very high level of focus around getting the school open on day one, but we never forget the importance of what happens the day after. Our areas of expertise extend well beyond the opening of new schools and cover all aspects of their day-to-day running. Every free school that Place Group has helped to open has received Good or Outstanding judgements in their first Ofsted inspection.

With the requirement from the DfE that any new school must provide evidence of how it will create a success culture, it is important to lay the foundations for this by having a clear delivery plan. Our post-opening support focuses upon subjects and integral elements including:

  • Competitive Procurement
  • First full inspection preparation aligned to the Ofsted Inspection Framework 2019
  • Ongoing Leadership and Governance Training
  • HR
  • ICT Support
  • Marketing, Communications and Networking
  • Curriculum Planning
  • Enrichment activities planning and strategy

Interested in our Free School Post-Opening Support?

Contact Us

Special Provision Application and Pre-Opening Support

We can produce applications for special education settings – including new SEND establishments and Approved Provisions. Our overriding principles for authoring and producing these are identical to how we develop mainstream applications. However, we utilise the skills and experience of specific team members that have direct experience of working in the special education field.

We have supported the successful opening of over ten special and alternative provision schools, including schools for the National Autistic Society.

Our innovative approach is aligned to the respective local authorities criteria and logistical expectations, and will include key elements of a special school application (guidance criteria) including:

  • A clear vision for how the proposed school will improve outcomes and enhance the life chances of children and young people with SEND within the local community
  • A clear understanding of the needs of the expected cohort and demonstrate the ability to meet those needs
  • For special schools, an outline of how greater independence, employability and social mobility will be achieved, centred around each SEND child’s own aspirations, interests and need
  • Demonstration of a strong track record of providing a high standard of education
  • Evidence of good value for money, with an affordable education plan
  • For alternative provision schools, demonstration of how preparation for the next stage of a pupil’s life, e.g. reintegration to mainstream schooling (where appropriate), further education and employment will be realised

Interested in our Special Provision Application and Pre-Opening Support?

Contact Us

Contact us for a free initial consultation with one of our senior team members today!

T: 0845 548 5677

E: contact@place-group.com

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