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  • Writer's pictureCreate: Schools

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

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 on the 3rd of November, interviews are expected to take place in January 2024 after an initial assessment. Successful applications are anticipated to be announced March 2024.

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 further news later this year, 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 later this year 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

Research conducted by the National Foundation for Educational Research has identified a continued detrimental effect of Covid-19 on young children and their reading ages, in particular disadvantaged students. The findings highlighted that students from disadvantaged areas remain months behind peers with both reading and maths skills following the pandemic.

Over 200 courses are now planned to be replaced with T-levels, including BTECs and other level 3 equivalents. T-levels consist of a mixture of classroom and work placement learning, geared towards students looking for vocational options.

The English curriculum is set to respond to growing demands for contemporary music to be included in the study of English Literature in schools. As artists such as Taylor Swift become increasingly appreciated as literary artists and storytellers, Oak National Academy welcome the inclusion of contemporary material for students to engage with.

A record high level of disadvantaged students are accessing selective degrees in the UK. This contributes to a wider trend of disadvantaged students attending university, up by 7% from the previous year.

The DfE have confirmed new pay scales for teachers and school leaders for 2023-24, with an increase of at least 6.5% for all staff.

A head of a Northern Ireland school in Crumlin has stepped in to take over the role of lollipop man alongside his headteacher duties to ensure students are able to safely cross the busy road outside the school entrance.


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