Parents urged to draw up free school proposals

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has urged parents, community groups and charities to become part of the government’s drive to open 500 more free schools by 2020.

Speaking ahead of the opening of the latest window to submit applications, which ran from 22-29 May, Ms Morgan said: “Parents want the best for their kids, and where they are unhappy with the schools on offer locally the free school programme empowers them to demand more and establish new, high performing, community-led new schools.

“So I’m calling on all high performing schools, sponsors, charities, community groups and parents to come forward with their proposals for new schools.”

The free school programme has so far resulted in 254 new schools, providing 125,000 places, with 72 per cent located in areas with a shortage of places.

The new Conservative government’s manifesto said that opening the 500 extra free schools would create 270,000 new school places over the life of the parliament.

Parents, community groups or other organisations considering applications to open free schools may find it helpful to have access to expert legal advice, to advise on the legal requirements involved in operating in this way, which includes consulting in the local community to seek views on the free school proposals.

At Palmers, we have particular expertise in the education sector and can provide proactive, practical advice to assist groups through the steps involved in establishing a free school and beyond. For more information, please contact BJ Chong