What is a free school?
Free schools are independent, state-funded schools. They have the same legal status as academies.
Will free schools be able to make a profit?
No. Free Schools can only be set up and owned by Academy Trusts which are run not-for-profit. The school will be run by the Head and their leadership team and they will be answerable to a Board of Trustees.
Why are you proposing to open with only certain classes?
Admissions to the school are taking place where demand for places has been identified. We will continue to work with parents and the local authority to ensure that we are catering for the growing need for high-quality school places in Northamptonshire.
Are free schools selective?
No. Free schools have to follow the admissions code like all state-funded schools.
Does opening your new schools mean less money for the other schools in the area?
No. Funding for free schools will be equivalent to the funding of maintained schools and academies in the same local authority area. The opening of a free school does not mean that the overall funding available in an area goes down. However, the total funding an individual school receives will depend on the number of pupils attending. We are establishing our new schools as there are simply not enough places to meet the demand in the local area.
Will your schools be inspected by Ofsted?
Yes. All free schools are subject to inspection in the same way as other academy category schools. A full Ofsted inspection does not usually happen until the third year of the school’s life. However, during the period running up to this we have a number of DfE monitoring visits and will be publishing a range of data on how we are performing.
Have you chosen a Head for your schools?
Not yet. As with our model for Wootton Park School, we are looking for high-calibre leaders to take on these opportunities and will be advertising nationally to make sure we get the best candidates to apply.
How will the school be accountable?
The school will be run by a Board of Trustees who will be accountable to the charitable trust which oversees the school. In addition, the school will also be accountable to the Department for Education through the terms of its Funding Agreement.
How can I apply for a place?
Details of the admissions procedure will be made available on this website. We will follow the same process for our new schools as we have with Wootton Park School and work closely with the local authority.