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, mock interviews, pre-opening project management and post-opening support, PAG has market-leading expertise and experience.

    Free School Applications

    Premier Advisory Group has a market-leading track record in bidding for free schools on behalf of our clients. PAG has supported over 30 trusts with free school applications in Wave 14 of the mainstream process, Wave 2 of the SEND free school process, and various LA competitions. 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 or New Schools Network (NSN) Advisor for over 150 free schools across all phases and specialisms. From application to opening and beyond, PAG is best-placed to support your free school ambitions.

    Interview Preparation

    PAG offers a mock interview service to groups who have submitted applications to open free schools, either via the central 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 School Project Management

    Premier Advisory Group 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.

    "Premier Advisory has worked with the newly formed Beckmead Trust since it was mandated in April 2019. Premier Advisory 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 Premier Advisory 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

    Free school live opportunities


    Local Authority

    Phase/Age Range


    Closing Date for Application


    Waterbeach New Town

    Cambridgeshire County Council

    Primary – 4 to 11

    Mainstream school


    Click here


    Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council

    Primary – 4 to 11

    Mainstream school


    Click here

    Allscott Meads

    Telford and Wrekin Council

    Primary – 4 to 11

    Mainstream school


    Click here

    Comeytrowe, Taunton

    Somerset County Council

    Primary – 4 to 11

    Mainstream school


    Click here

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    What our clients say