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Create: Schools Monthly Free Schools News Round-Up

Our monthly Free Schools Round Up will provide you with last month’s education headlines, featuring key updates on each of the free school waves including free school and academy news highlights.


Key Updates on Waves

At Create: Schools we are able to offer free support with your application, if you require a review of your bid or have any further queries, please contact us via our contact form here.

AP Wave

The final deadline for AP partnerships to submit their applications passed on the 17th of February. Applications are now in the assessment stage, with successful submissions to be announced early autumn 2023 following interviews in the spring. In advance of the interview stage, AP applicants may wish to begin preparing for the next steps in the assessment process.

Wave 15

The deadline has passed for mainstream application submissions, with the interview stage of assessment is underway. We are currently awaiting updates from the DfE regarding the end of the mainstream interview process, meaning that no news at this stage is not necessarily bad news.

Special Wave

In October 2022, the application window for the first stage of the special wave closed. Successful local authorities will be announced this Spring, proposer groups will then be able to submit their applications in the second stage of the process. The published list of all local authority applicants can be found here. Stage 2 of the SEND wave is set to begin soon, with engagement events from successful local authorities expected to take place throughout May and June.


Free Schools in the News: This Month's Top Stories

Further teacher strike action was announced, for the 27th of April and the 2nd of May. These strikes follow dissatisfaction with the latest pay offer from the Government, with 98% of NEU members voting to reject the newest deal.

April saw the announcement of further funding for disabled children, to be used for the short breaks scheme, for trips such as theatre visits and outdoor activities. These activities will be used to provide children with SEND with the opportunity to build and develop vital skills.

Through the 2022 White Paper, the DfE outlined five pillars to allow ministers to assess potential for growth. The descriptors, (high-quality and inclusive leadership, school improvement, workforce, finance and operations, and governance and leadership) have been expanded on to provide trusts with additional guidance.

The Welsh government have announced new rules to reduce the cost of school uniforms during the cost-of-living crisis. This involves ensuring that school badges and logos are no longer compulsory, in an attempt to reduce financial strain on families facing the effects of the crisis.

The DfE have announced through trust capacity fund (TCaF) guidance, that funding could be worth up to £750,000 where academy trusts are able to take on a further five schools in underperforming areas. This rise in TCaF funding is reflective of a national effort to raise education standards across the wider education community through the sharing of support from successful MATs. If you are interested or would like further information, please contact Premier Advisory Group at

Tollesbury Primary School have participated in a local community project to reduce carbon emissions, with hopes of reducing by 90% if a £200,000 fundraising goal is achieved. The school are working towards creating a more sustainable school in order to contribute to the move to a sustainable future for the village.

A TA in Shropshire is set to take the 2023 physics GCSE exam alongside students in order to gain an insight into the pressures involved. This follows a promise made to students last year to sit the chemistry GCSE exam after a student challenged him. This will continue into 2024, with Mr Howell promising to sit the biology GCSE alongside the next cohort.


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