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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 Update on Waves

Special Wave

Successful applications for the previous waves have been announced and the window for submitting SEND Wave 4 bids will close on 19th July. If you are applying during this window and need help with your application, please get in touch with one of our advisors via We are working closely with local authorities to deliver information on the proposed schools and are offering a bid review service to prepare applicants as best as possible. Our support is funded by the Department for Education and remains free of charge to central wave free school proposers.


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

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The number of pupils in alternative provision rose by 20% to 15,866 in January 2024, driven by exclusions, mental health needs, and behavioural support. This contrasts with a 0.2% increase in the total pupil population. Additionally, eligibility for free school meals rose, and pupil numbers in special schools increased by 5%.

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Norfolk County Council’s reduction in top-up funding for specialeducational needs (SEN) will cause "significant redundancies" and more exclusions, warn five academy trusts. They criticised the council's timing, stating redundancies are unavoidable. The council cited budget constraints despite a £36m overspend. The cuts impact the first two terms of the new academic year.

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Reigate Priory Junior School, at the centre of a relocation controversy, received the highest Ofsted rating. Inspectors praised its initiatives and pupil enthusiasm. Despite challenges and parental opposition to Surrey County Council's move plans, the school maintained a strong focus on high- quality education.

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Private school numbers rise despite VAT fears Despite claims that Labour's VAT on school fees would price out families, the number of children attending private schools in England has risen to 593,486. Labour plans to use the £1.5bn from VAT and business rates to recruit 6,500 teachers for state schools, addressing teacher shortages.

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In 2022, Birchanger Church of England primary school in Essex faced a transformative influx of refugee children from diverse backgrounds, increasing its population by 12%. Despite logistical challenges and limited support from authorities, the school embraced the newcomers, enhancing its community with cultural richness and overcoming educational and emotional hurdles.


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