Services for Free Schools

PAG staff have worked at the heart of the free schools programme since the programme was a movement. PAG provides a range of services to support free school applicants and providers, from writing or reviewing the initial application, to mock interviews, pre-opening project management, and post-opening support, PAG has market-leading expertise and experience.

    Free Schools Applications

    PAG has a market-leading track record in bidding for free schools on behalf of our clients. Our overall success rate in helping clients reach interview is over 90% to date and we can support you in submitting a high-quality application.

    Your application will be drafted by a team of professionals who between them have proposed, opened, and acted as a DfE Assessor for over 200 free schools across all phases and specialisms.

    If you are interested in opening a free school via either the local authority competition route or DfE central waves, please click here to get in touch for more information.

    Free Schools Interview Preparation

    PAG offers a mock interview service to groups who have submitted applications to open free schools, either via the central wave route or any local authority presumption competitions. Our team has significant experience on both sides of the interview table and bring this knowledge and expertise to every mock interview we deliver. PAG will conduct a review of your application and develop questions that will be posed in a face to face / online session with the trust team, with feedback and coaching given. This process mirrors the free schools interview process, helping you sharpen your arguments.

    Free Schools Project Management

    PAG has a track record stretching back prior to the formation of the free schools programme. The schools we have helped to open span the range of provision from 4-19 and from mainstream to SEND, covering all points in between. For some clients we have worked from day one of their projects and for more experienced clients we’ve provided expert input where required. The PAG team brings current experience in opening new schools as proposers and experience of having assessed free school applications from a DfE perspective. Click here to learn more about our pre-opening project management support.

    Academy Conversions

    There is still the expectation that most schools will form or join multi-academy trusts (MATs) so that proven educational models can spread and grow, and the best leaders can extend their influence by running multiple schools.

    We can work with you to convert to academy status and assist you in forming a MAT at each stage of the process, from preparation to opening as an academy and following the steps as required by the DfE.

    "PAG has worked with the Beckmead Trust since it was mandated in April 2019. PAG has also engaged with project management including delivering education and governance plans and section 10 consultations. The growth and reputation of The Beckmead Trust reflects the quality of work and partnership with PAG who has been invaluable in supporting the trust navigate a very different landscape to that which exists under Local Authority management and governance."

    Jonty Clark OBE
    CEO, The Beckmead Trust

    Experience with over


    Free School Projects

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