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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 Updates on Waves

Special Wave

Stage 2 of SEND wave 3 is ongoing, with the deadline for application submissions approaching on August 31st. The list of local authorities approved to open a new special free school can be found here. If you would like to access our free services to support you with your application, please contact us at

AP Wave

Interviews between the DfE and proposer groups for the AP wave have now concluded. Applicants should expect to hear the outcome from the DfE in early autumn 2023. If you accessed any Create: Schools support during the application process, we would be very grateful for any feedback you may have, so we can continue to improve our services.

Wave 15

The deadline for mainstream application submissions passed last year, with the interview stage of assessment complete. At this stage, successful applicants are still to be announced.

Safety Valve

Soon to be announced is the mainstream Safety valve competition. These competitions operate in the same way as the DfE’s central waves but only run in specific local authorities. Merton, Cambridgeshire, Kent and Norfolk local authorities have been approved to participate in the upcoming competition. Create: Schools will continue to offer support with engagement events, bid reviews and mock interviews for successful applicants. If you would like to find out more about these upcoming competitions, and the support we offer, please contact us at


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

Regular government surveys have revealed that almost two-thirds of schools have increased the price of their school meals and a large proportion of schools have been forced to cut costs in order to cope with the high costs of living.

Read here to find out about the DfE’s updates for secondary and special schools in July 2023.

A third of children have never played on their street, while those that do spend 67% less time playing outdoors than their parents used to, according to a recent survey of 2,000 parents. The survey has suggested that this fall in outdoor, childhood play could in part be down to a lack of suitable outside space, as well as an increase in the use of technology.

In Summer2023 , the DfE published its National Behaviour Survey, a 96-page report from the Academic Year 2021/22. This article explores some of the key findings and discusses five important takeaways from the report on behaviour in schools.


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