Pre-Opening Project Management

At PAG, we recognise that opening a new school is a challenging process that requires strong leadership, vision, and determination. As MAT trustees ourselves, we also recognise that not all great leaders will have sufficient time or internal resources to deliver a successful school opening without specialist support. PAG is ready today to support you through this process with our Pre-Opening Project Management.

    Our experience

    PAG has worked with many single and multi-academy trusts to write successful free school applications, in fact we have proposed, opened, or acted as advisor on over 250 free schools via the Department for Education and local authority competitions. PAG has significant experience in pre-opening project management and can help guide clients throughout the rigorous pre-opening process.

    PAG offers a high-quality, personalised service to help with the volume and complexity of tasks in pre-opening. Our reliable team of professional, proactive, and punctilious project managers will build trusted relationships with all stakeholders, 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 managing the critical path and risk control. PAG will also ensure effective and efficient communications between key individuals and stakeholder groups.

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

    How can we support you?

    PAG can support the entire lifecycle of pre-opening by providing expert advice or brokerage on any one of the following elements:

    • Site and buildings

    • Recruitment and resourcing

    • Marketing and engagement

    • Governance and due diligence

    • Business planning and finance

    • MAT formation

    • Procurement

    • Policy writing and curriculum planning

    • Statutory Consultation (S10)

    "Through a pre-opening period lasting nearly five years and through the Covid-19 pandemic, Premier Advisory were a constant source of support and guidance. Their knowledge of the process is second to none and they showed total commitment to helping us get the school open. I would highly recommend their services."

    Dr Regina Duarte
    Lead Proposer, Anglo-Portuguese School of London

    "PAG supported The Beckmead Trust through the pre-opening of our first AP school in Brent. Subsequent to that they have supported our transition from maintained school to a MAT and have worked on every successful free school application we have made. Their market knowledge and contact book are second to none and we benefitted greatly from introductions and intelligence they have provided us over the years."

    Jonty Clark OBE
    CEO, The Beckmead Trust

    We have proposed, opened, and acted as a DfE or new schools' network advisor for over


    free schools via DfE and LA competitions

    Securing our support

    PAG's pre-opening services are tailored directly to the requirements of its clients. Those interested in procuring our pre-opening project management service can do so via the Crown Commercial Services MCF2 Framework or the NHS Consult-18 Framework.

    In the first instance we would be happy to discuss your project and share some of our experiences as both free school proposers and as professionals that worked with free schools when it was a movement, not a programme. Book some time with us on the link below.

    Get in touch