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  • Writer's pictureCreate: Schools

Create: Schools Monthly Free School News Round-Up

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


Key Updates on Waves

Safety Valve

The DfE previously announced that new special free schools would be opening in Cambridgeshire, Kent, Merton and Norfolk through the Safety Valve application route. With the final deadline in November now passed, interviews are expected to take place in January after an initial assessment. Successful applications are anticipated to be announced March.

Special Wave

The deadline for applicants has now passed for Stage 2 of the SEND free school wave. The published list of the 33 new special schools and their specifications previously announced can be found here. Applicants should expect to hear invites to interview in coming weeks, with successful applicants to be announced in January 2024.

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 late 2023 following the interview stage throughout the summer.

Wave 15

Successful wave 15 applications have now been confirmed, with a published list of all submitted applications available here. Applicants faced an initial round of assessment, followed by the interview stage, before successful applicants were informed of their application status. The published list of successful applications can be found here.


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

Following the Education Support’s 2023 teacher wellbeing index, teacher wellbeing has been found to be at its lowest since 2019. The results also identified rising stress levels, will levels still below those prior to the pandemic.

Reports surrounding guidance for schools relating to transgender suggest that official documents will be published prior to Christmas school holidays. The guidance is expected to cover regulations for toilets, changing rooms and more.

November saw the launch of a new inquiry into strengthening financial education across all primary, secondary and further education. This follows widespread agreement for the need to support students with skills and knowledge for managing financial decisions.

Presenter of the BBC’s ‘Deadly 60’ recently opened a forest school in Northamptonshire. The school is home to a bug hotel, outdoor classrooms and plenty of opportunities for meditation and storytelling.

The shortlists have been announced for the 2023 annual IHE awards, with educational institutions nominated for various categories – including: inspiring course, technology enhanced learning, outstanding collaboration and more.

A 93-year-old gardener has worked alongside primary school children in Cambridgeshire, with hopes of encouraging young people to pick up gardening.


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