Project Managing the Free School Pre-Opening Phase
The free schools programme has created over 400,000 places for pupils over the past few years, with 507 open free schools and another 226 in the process of opening. Providers with a strong track record can use this process to extend their educational success and create much-needed school places, improving educational standards across the country.
There are a myriad of 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.
Opening a free school is a challenging process that requires strong leadership, vision and determination, and not all great leaders will have sufficient time or internal resources to deliver a successful opening without specialist support.
PAG has experienced first-hand the volume and complexity of tasks associated with the opening of a new school.
Premier Advisory Group and its directors have successfully managed the pre-opening phase of over 50 new schools across all specialisms and phases. PAG is currently retained by a number of clients who rely on us to project manage pre-opening and allow them to maintain focus on excellence in educational delivery.
PAG has experienced first-hand the volume and complexity of tasks associated with the opening of a new school. During the pre-opening phase, even the most accomplished leaders may require support with:
- Site and buildings
- Recruitment and engagement
- Governance and due diligence
- Business planning and finances
- MAT formation
- Policy writing
- Statutory consultation.
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!). It is important to set out a range of solutions and their respective strengths and weaknesses so that your trust can make an informed decision.
PAG offers a high-quality, bespoke service to support academy trusts in meeting the need for more school places. Our experienced team of professional, proactive and punctilious project managers has built a trusted relationship with the DfE, ensuring the success of pre-opening projects and the timely opening of several free schools. We can provide guidance and expertise with tracking progress towards key milestones, documentation control, and ensuring effective and efficient communications between key individuals and stakeholder groups, using a combination of strategic advice, practical guidance and task delivery.