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SERVICES

We are here to help academy trusts, schools and other organisations ensure the best outcomes for children and young people across the country by setting up more great schools. 

Create: Schools works directly with free school proposer groups to help them navigate the process of applying for a new school across mainstream, special education, and alternative provision routes. 

Our team of highly experienced Advisors provide bespoke guidance and support to ensure that applications meet the Department for Education’s criteria, and that proposers have the tools they need to progress to the pre-opening phase if their application is approved. 

Below you can find out more about how we support free school proposers. All of our Create: Schools services are provided completely free of charge

Please note, Create: Schools can assist with questions, advice, and bid review services relating to the DfE central waves and all things free schools, but should you require professional bid writing support we suggest getting in touch with our parent organisation, PAG.








 

Universal Service

 

Our Universal Service has been designed to support anyone considering applying for a new free school via any wave, local authorities looking to apply to open new special schools in their area, or simply those who want more information about setting up a new school. Our team of expert Advisors will provide free, independent advice regarding all aspects of the free school process.

 

What does the Universal service include? 
 

  • A helpdesk service for all questions relating to the free school process 

  • A bank of comprehensive online resources to support the development of applications, both for local authorities and proposer groups 

  • Support with data analysis to help build a robust need case  

  • Collated feedback from previous free school waves to share best practice 

  • A range of template documents to demystify the process of writing a free school application  

  • Masterclasses on topics relating to key aspects of free school applications, such as establishing a vision, community engagement, and preparing for pre-opening.
     

If you are looking to open a free school, you can get in touch with us via our Initial Engagement form and  we will get back to you within 48 hours.

 

Looking for further support?

PAG has been delivering professional education services since its inception in 2015 and prior to the establishment of Create: Schools. If you are looking for additional support beyond advice and guidance with free school waves, please get in touch and our expert consultants will contact you to set up an initial call. 
 

PAG can provide support with:

 

 

Mainstream Wave
 

Our support service for mainstream has been designed to provide intense support to applicant groups who demonstrate the necessary capacity, expertise, and vision to successfully run a mainstream free school, including 16-19 provision. 

Groups who are successfully enrolled onto the programme will be assigned a named Create: Schools Advisor who will answer any questions, review draft applications, ensure the group’s expertise is deployed efficiently, and ensure key milestones are reached. They will work with proposers to develop and refine their applications, with the aim of helping applicants to secure an interview with the DfE and to ultimately be approved to open their school.
 

What does this support involve? 
 

  • A diagnostic tool to identify key priorities for your application and provide tailored support options 

  • A bespoke project plan to map out key milestones of the application process and help you manage capacity 

  • In-depth reviews of your application with detailed, actionable feedback provided 

  • Access to Create: Schools’ range of highly skilled and experienced external associates and partners 

  • Networking opportunities with successful free school proposers 

  • Advice and support to prepare for Department for Education interviews
     

The application phase for the mainstream free school wave ended on 30th November 2022. Information about what to expect if you submitted an application can be found via the DfE here, and Create: Schools advisors are also available via our Contact page should you need further assistance.
 

Special Wave
 

During the first phase of the special free school wave, Create: Schools provided a service for all local authorities in England to seek guidance and advice on submitting an application for a new special school.

 

What did this support involve?  

  • Access to data and support with analysis to support your case for a new school  

  • Access to Create: Schools’ range of highly skilled and experienced external associates and partners, to provide advice on areas such as finding a suitable site 

  • A diagnostic tool to identify key priorities for your application and provide tailored support options 

  • In-depth review of your application with detailed, actionable feedback provided
     

For successful local authorities:

  • Bespoke webinars

  • Continued support to generate interest in the competition, utilising Create: Schools' extensive network of schools and trusts   

  • Co-design and delivery of effective free school events for proposer groups, as well as attendance from Create: Schools to present and answer questions where appropriate

  • Matchmaking services between local authorities and trusts based on key features such as vision

  • Working closely with trusts to ensure that bids submitted are of high quality

The application window for proposer groups has now opened with the deadline set for 31st August 2023. The deadline for mandatory pre-registration was 16th June at 5pm, if you did not register by this date you are ineligible to submit a bid.  If you are a proposer group looking to open a new special school and require our support, please get in contact here.

Alternative Provision Wave
 

Our support service for Alternative Provision was designed to provide intense support to proposer groups and partnerships interested in applying in the AP wave.
 

Groups who are successfully enrolled onto the programme have been assigned a named Create: Schools Advisor who will answer any questions, review draft applications, ensure partnerships are aligned, and ensure key milestones are reached. They will work with proposers to build these partnerships, develop and refine their applications, and ultimately secure an interview with the DfE and be approved to open their Alternative Provision.
 

What does this support involve?
 

  • ‘Matchmaking’ process/community mapping to support trusts and LAs to build stronger partnerships with other organisations to support the bid 

  • A diagnostic tool to identify key priorities for your application and provide tailored support options 

  • A bespoke project plan to map out key milestones of the application process and help you manage capacity 

  • In-depth reviews of your application with detailed, actionable feedback provided 

  • Access to Create: Schools’ range of highly skilled and experienced external associates and partners 

  • Bespoke workshops 

  • Introductions and facilitated visits to existing AP free schools 

  • Advice and support to prepare for Department for Education interviews

The application period for the alternative provision free school wave opened on 28th November and closed 17th February 2023. Information about the AP wave and what comes next can be found here, and Create: Schools advisors are also available via our Contact page should you need further assistance.

 

The Department for Education has produced 'Customer Journey: Building your School', a free step-by-step guide for anyone interested in opening their own free school. Covering everything from building your team to finding a suitable site, the guide includes everything a prospective opener might need to make the journey as simple as possible.

 

Download a copy of the guide



 

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Maistream Wave
Universal Servce
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