Thinking of setting up a Free School?
Starting up a new Free School is an exciting prospect, but it’s no easy task. From the time you first apply to DfE until the day you officially open with your first set of pupils you will need to juggle a huge number of different balls including developing the vision and ethos for your new school; managing the complexities of setting up what is effectively a new company; defining your curriculum and how you will teach it; identifying where the school is to be located and how you will manage any transfer of the building and other assets from its current owner; finding your headteacher, teaching and support staff; defining your admissions arrangements to ensure you keep within legal constraints; setting up your internal management processes; and managing communications with parents and other local stakeholders and overcoming any local opposition you may encounter.
In addition to all of this you will also need to navigate the political complexities of your relationship with civil servants and education professionals in the Department for Education who will evaluate and approve your application; oversee the whole of the setup process right up to your opening day; and give you the funding and access to independent advisory companies you will need to set your school up. And if you’re new to the workings of the civil service this can often be one of the hardest parts of all.
And that’s where we come in. WCL are passionate about education and we are one of the best-connected independent advisory companies in the education sector. Our personnel and partners have worked extensively across all areas of education, many for over twenty years, advising senor policy civil servants at DfE on the management and delivery of some of their most complex and high profile national programmes. In addition to our wide networks in DfE and across the sector more generally, the expertise we bring ranges from project management, HR advice, and legal support to specialist education support on every aspect of running a new Free School delivered by former school heads, academy principals, and school improvement advisers.
From day one we can advise you how best to present your application and broker your ideas with DfE via our extensive network of senior policy contacts and independent education advisers who advise on DfE’s application and evaluation process. We are also one of the leading companies on the Department’s new Project Management and Educational Services Framework for Academies and Free Schools so once your application is approved and setup funding has been granted by the Department we can be there to support you throughout every aspect of the setup process to ensure your new Free School gets off to the best possible start.
For more information on how we can help please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
and one of our Free Schools and Academies Team will be delighted to talk to you.