Antony Power
Posted on 20 Nov 2013

What is a Free School?

Free Schools are frequently mentioned in the press but a friend who visited us this weekend made me realise that many people still do not really understand what they are. 

The most important thing to know is that they are state funded schools.  They are overseen by the Government, subject to almost all the same rules as traditional schools and in particular, are not allowed to charge pupils. Free schools are new in the sense that they do not replace existing state schools. 

They are charities, but the 'free' in free schools comes from the fact that they are not controlled by their local authority. They do not have to follow the National Curriculum and have a freer hand to teach what they wish.

Even though over time, more and more free schools have been established by existing educational organisations, there is still an opportunity for local parents or community groups to set them up.  They have been particularly popular with teachers who believe that the freedoms offered allow them to produce better outcomes for pupils.

The Education Team at Michelmores has been involved in establishing free schools since the very first were opened in 2011.  The Team has acted for more than 30 free school groups including many in the South West.  So whether you are a group of parents or teachers, a local community association, a school or other organisation, if you are interested in finding out more about free schools, please do get in touch.   

For further information, please contact Antony Power, Partner at Michelmores, by telephone on 01392 687 713 or by email antony.power@michelmores.com.