Jonathan Reynolds – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Education

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Jonathan Reynolds on 2016-04-11.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what requirements are placed on the building of new academies to demonstrate (a) local need and (b) parental demand.

Edward Timpson

When applying to set up a new mainstream or 16-19 free school, applicants must demonstrate that there is a need for the school. They could do this by showing that there is either a projected shortage of school places in the relevant phase in the area where the school is proposed; a need for more high quality school places; or a need for greater local choice and diversity.

Applicants applying to set up special or alternative provision free schools must demonstrate that they have a commitment from commissioners that they will purchase places at the free school.

In relation to demand, all applicants must demonstrate that the proposed school will be popular and fill to capacity. To do this, applicants must provide evidence that they have effectively marketed the school to a cross-section of the local community and parents.

The department publishes guidance for applicants on GOV.UK at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/opening-a-free-school