Create: Schools Monthly Free Schools News Round-Up
Our monthly Free Schools Round Up will provide you with education headlines from the previous month, featuring key updates on each of the free school waves including education and academy news highlights.
Key Update on Waves
Stage 2 of the SEND free school wave is now underway, with compulsory pre-registration having closed on 16th June. Proposer groups will have until 31st August to complete their applications. The published list of successful local authorities and their specifications can be found here. Please get in contact with the advisory team regarding support available free of charge throughout the SEND 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 summer. Invites to interview have begun to be sent out, with more to follow. AP applicants may wish to begin preparing for the next steps in the assessment process. For further support in the meantime, please see our guidance for interviews.
The deadline passed for mainstream application submissions last year, with the interview stage of assessment complete. At this stage, applicants should have received news from the DfE, if you are yet to receive information, then we urge you to get in contact with the DfE regarding the application outcome.
Free Schools in the News: This Month's Top Stories
Following a review of GCSE grade gaps, there is evidence to suggest that the Covid-19 pandemic has reversed progress made to reduce attainment gaps. Between 2014 and 2019, significant progress was made to close education grade inequalities, however as the sector recovers from the pandemic, trends paint ‘a worrying picture’.
A survey of UK university students has found an increase in the number of students working alongside their studies. With an increase from 34% in 2021, to 55% in 2023, students have expressed concerns to work excessive hours to cover living costs.
There are ongoing discussions between all four education unions in England, in preparation for what could be the largest scale strikes in decade. Daniel Kebede, the new general secretary of the National Education Union (NEU), has stated that all strike action will be dependant on government action regarding the ongoing pay dispute.
The DfE has selected 16 councils to trial proposed wraparound care plans for primary school aged children in England, including Wiltshire, Sheffield, Hull and more. These plans are believed to be ‘transformational’ for the families they will support.
In order support working families on universal credit who are facing difficulties due to the cost of living, parents will now be able to claim up to £951 a month for one child, or £1,630 for two or more.
Daniel Jilings, a 17-year-old from Suffolk has been campaigning for 5 years in support of establishing British Sign Language (BSL) as a GCSE option. In June, the DfE began a 12-week consultation for the proposal.