• Free schools can follow Nightingale lead

    The rapid creation of temporary Nightingale hospitals during the Covid-19 pandemic shows free schools shouldn’t have to wait for years to open, says a director at the New Schools Network. Sophie Harrison-Byrne, the director of programmes at the free schools support organisation, also urged the government to approve fewer bids from academy trusts “that simply

    5.00 Jun. 6th, 2020 | News

  • Coronavirus: New free schools face disruption after building delays

    New schools due to open this September are facing delays as construction is suspended or delayed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The setback comes as secondaries scramble to deal with a population bulge following an early-2000s baby boom. Data from the Department for Education recently revealed 17 per cent of secondary schools were

    5.00 Apr. 25th, 2020 | News

  • DfE property firm's boss got £30k bonus, despite missed value-for-money target

    The boss of the Department for Education’s property company received a £30,000 bonus last year, despite the organisation missing one of its key targets. Accounts for LocatED, a company set up by the government to find land for new free schools, show Lara Newman received a bonus payment of between £30,000 and £35,000 in 2018-19,

    9.49 Feb. 11th, 2020 | News

  • Free schools have a 'branding problem' says NSN director

    Free schools have a “branding problem” and the “political will” behind them has diminished in recent years, the director of the New Schools Network has warned. Unity Howard, who runs the charity set up to support and promote free schools, told a fringe event at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester today that free schools

    17.15 Sep. 29th, 2019 | News

  • New free school bids round leaves AP out in the cold

    The government’s latest free school wave does not allow applications for new alternative provision, despite a major pledge from ministers to encourage and prioritise them. Gavin Williamson, the education secretary, told The Times earlier this month that opening new schools for excluded pupils would be prioritised. And when the Department for Education this week launched

    17.00 Sep. 13th, 2019 | News

  • Licence fees to almost double for cash-strapped UTCs

    The Baker Dearing Trust is set to double the membership fee that university technical colleges have to pay, meaning the charity will collect nearly £500,000 annually from the cash-strapped institutions. The charity’s new chief executive, Simon Connell, has defended upping the annual fee, which will increase from £5,500 to £10,000 this September. But the unexpected

    16.49 Aug. 16th, 2019 | News

  • 7 ways to reinvigorate the free schools policy

    Since 2010 free schools have helped to transform our education system, bringing high standards, new innovations from which other schools can learn and, perhaps most importantly, helping to dispel the notion there are some kids who ‘just can’t succeed’. But the momentum behind education reform and free schools has stalled because of Brexit’s dominance over

    0.01 Jul. 2nd, 2019 | Opinion

  • Tory peer’s academy trust seeks unpaid workers

    An academy trust founded by a Conservative peer is advertising for unpaid volunteers to fill key roles, as plans for another free school bite the dust. Newly published accounts for the Floreat Education Academies Trust, founded in 2014 by Lord James O’Shaughnessy, a former aide to David Cameron, show “very low pupil numbers” forced it

    7.00 Jan. 11th, 2019 | News

  • Oil tycoon's foundation among New Schools Network donors

    The foundation of a controversial oil tycoon was among the donors to the New Schools Network this year, new documents show. In what appears to be a first, accounts published by the NSN this week reveal the names of two donors, the Garfield Weston Foundation and the Blavatnik Family Foundation. Set up by government to

    7.00 Dec. 2nd, 2018 | News

  • DfE to shell out £10m for 200 ‘external experts’

    The Department for Education will spend £10 million on 200 “external experts” to advise it on policy areas including safeguarding, free schools and the curriculum. A tender document published this week reveals that the department is searching for organisations to run a “register of external experts” made up of “individuals who have expertise and experience

    5.00 Nov. 2nd, 2018 | News

  • New Schools Network boss resigned after PTE merger rebuffed

    The board of the New Schools Network turned down a proposal by its interim boss to merge the charity with a “grassroots” group set up to lobby for education reform, it has emerged. NSN interim director Mark Lehain proposed that the charity – which promotes and helps people set up free schools – merge with

    16.38 Oct. 25th, 2018 | News