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Support for Free Schools

Place Group has been deeply involved with the Free Schools movement since its inception and continues to be instrumental in advising and supporting Proposer groups in how they approach this challenge.

As one of the market leaders in supporting Free Schools, we can help you to meet the requirements of the updated Department for Education Free School Application Process for mainstream, special and alternative provision Free Schools. The information in this section of our website has been updated to reflect changes in the assessment process.

Place Group was responsible for producing one of the first Free School applications and we are currently working with Proposer groups nationwide, including three of the first Free Schools which opened in September 2011 and many more since. These groups, led by a diverse range of people and organisations, have chosen Place to support them in the journey to open their schools and to make them a success in the first year and beyond.

To achieve this high level of success, we have drawn on over a decade of experience in supporting Government education programmes, to ensure that the unique vision of each group is turned into educational and economic reality. We continue to liaise with the New Schools Network and DfE on the challenges our Proposer groups are facing, and have also suggested refinements to the process. This knowledge and experience means we are ideally placed to advise on the skills, time and resources needed to successfully establish and run a new school.

Place understands that no two new schools are the same and that each reflects the vision and aims of the Proposer group. Our consultants will advise and guide you to establish a school that you want, rather than one that fits a pre-defined model. From the initial application through to the successful running of the school, we can provide expertise and access to partnerships that allow your group to concentrate on ensuring the governance and community aspects of the school remain at the fore.

For more information regarding our individual services for Free Schools, please follow the three links on the right.

To find out more about these services or for general advice, please email


A Proposer’s View

I never imagined the myriad tasks that needed to be completed when entering the process. Place worked with us through a successful business case submission and the recruitment of an inspiring Headteacher - and they then managed the process as we counted down to our target opening date. It was a real source of comfort to have a knowledgeable and responsive consultancy who really bought into our vision for the school

Peter Kessler,
Chairs of Trustees – Eden Primary

School Excellence