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Opening a new free school

We are proposing to open eight new primary schools across the county up to and including 2023/24.

For sponsors looking for an opportunity to open a new free school in Staffordshire, there are potentially two routes available:


The central mainstream free schools programme (wave process)

If, as a sponsor, you have a proposal for a free school that meets the government's criteria you can, on occasions, apply directly through the government's wave process.

The most recent wave process (14), closed for applications on 11 November 2019.

There is further information about this process on the Gov.UK site.


Free school presumption process

The presumption process is the main route by which local authorities establish new schools.

Some of our proposed new free schools already have sponsors assigned to them but over the next few years there will continue to be opportunities for sponsors to apply to run other proposed new schools through this process.

See our page on all our potential new schools for further information.


New school funding

New school funding requires both pre- and post-opening set up costs. New schools typically open with only one year group (e.g. reception or year 7). The number of year groups will increase annually in line with need.

As some cohorts will initially be empty, the number of funded pupils will be low in the years after opening whilst the fixed costs of leadership, management and premises etc will be a disproportionately high level of the school’s budget.

This funding is, therefore, necessary to ensure that schools have a sufficient level of revenue funding to ensure viability.

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