Pre-Opening Project Management

At PAG, we recognise that opening a free school is a challenging process that requires strong leadership, vision and determination and that not all great leaders will have sufficient time or internal resources to deliver a successful opening, without specialist support.
Project Management

Long term experience

Premier Advisory Group has worked with many single- and multi academy trusts to successfully write free school applications. In 2019 alone, we worked with over 30 proposers, on their free school applications in the Department for Education’s Wave 2 and 14 processes. Our team has significant experience of pre-opening project management and can help guide new academies throughout the rigorous pre-opening process.


There are myriad advantages to opening a free school, including enhancing collaboration, delivering economies of scale and financial stability, developing high-quality central services, having the opportunity to impact the school environment from the outset, creating fresh links with the community and improving the recruitment and retention of high-quality staff.

bespoke pre-opening project management

PAG offers a high-quality, personalised service to help with the volume and complexity of tasks in the pre-opening period. Our reliable team of professional, proactive and punctilious project managers have built a trusted relationship with the DfE, ensuring the success of the project and the timely opening of your new school. Our team will bring to the project skills and expertise including tracking progress towards key milestones, documentation control, and ensuring effective and efficient communications between key individuals and stakeholder groups.

How can we support you?

During the pre-opening phase, PAG can offer support with:

  • The site and buildings
  • Recruitment and engagement
  • Marketing
  • Governance and due diligence
  • Business planning and finances
  • MAT formation
  • Procurement
  • Policy writing
  • Statutory consultation

We will provide a combination of strategic advice, practical guidance and task delivery. In projects such as these, there are areas where there are no definitive right answers to an issue (although there are usually many wrong answers!). We will set out a range of solutions and their respective strengths and weaknesses so that your trust can make an informed decision.

Those who are interested in procuring our Pre-Opening Project Management Service will need to prepare an invitation to tender (ITT). This is in line with the Department for Education’s procurement guidance.

The tender document should specify what exactly you would require the Project Manager to do, as well as how you intend to appraise responses you will receive. Once this has been created, you may send it out to those offering the service, post it on your website and share with the local authority to post on your behalf.

If you require further information about the service we offer, please contact us.