Our monthly Free Schools Round-Up provides you with education news from the last month, featuring key updates on the individual free school waves and free school and academy news highlights.
Key Updates on Waves
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The deadline for Local Authorities to submit their special applications to the DfE is fast approaching, with applications due to be submitted by 12pm on Friday the 21st of October. Local Authorities should be in the final stages of putting their applications together ready for review. Proposer groups will be able to apply to open special free schools early next year following the announcement of successful Local Authorities in early 2023.
The AP pre-registration window for lead applicants closes soon, on the 24th of October. Following this lead applicants will submit their final applications between the 28th of November and the 17th of February 2023. Applications will then be assessed, and successful applications will be announced in early Autumn next year.
The window to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) for Wave 15 has now passed. With the final application submission date on the 30th of November, proposers should be in the process of putting their mainstream applications together.
Free Schools in the News: This Month's Top Stories
The DfE is pushing on a drive for attendance, in an effort to encourage collaboration between schools, councils and families. This drive is an important extension of the White Paper and will attempt to find solutions to low attendance in schools.
Capita has worked in partnership with the University of Birmingham to develop a framework to help Early Career Teachers to become confident and experienced, in order to improve quality of teaching and opportunities for the young people they teach.
As Ofqual’s new chief regulator, Jo Saxton shared her views on full academisation, struggling schools and exam reforms.
Funding for ‘try before you buy’ trust partnerships has been redirected, schools can still choose to work together through partnerships, but due to funding changes, there will be no extra cash.
With Kit Malthouse as new education secretary, there had been growing discussions surrounding the future of grammar schools. Dr Nuala Burgess warned against a potential return to grammar schools: ‘This is a dangerous time for all our children.’
The government scheme has widened eligibility for the programme, in response to the crisis of teacher recruitment and retention. The internship programme will now also cater to language and chemistry students, allowing them to experience a taster of teaching, to support their career decisions.
In September, there have been various updates from the Education and Skills Funding Agency, affecting local authorities, academies and further education.
The BBC have interviewed education staff to understand the implications of the cost of living crisis on schools in England. Headteachers have shared their experiences so far, with some schools unable to afford to subsidise textbooks and school trips.
Lana Collie-James has been offered free tuition by ‘i’ readers after teaching herself 9 GCSEs from home to protect her mother’s health from COVID, after shielding for 2 years.