Support for Free Schools

Are you considering establishing or have you recently received approval to establish a Free School

If you have, you will undoubtedly be appreciating that there is a considerable amount of work to be done.

Now is the time to consider bringing on board specialist support in order to take the project forward, add capacity and bring in expertise.

At this stage it is essential that you appoint the right team to ensure your vision becomes a reality.

How We Can Help

We understand how important your project is and appreciate that, as well as comprehensive project management support, the most successful Free School projects arise from a positive and personable relationship between the proposers and the team.

We are experienced in developing free school applications, building highly effective and robust working relationships with key stakeholders and acting as a ‘critical friend’ to allow your ideas to be tested, challenged and refined. We will establish a team that best reflects your needs to ensure your Free School becomes a reality on time and to budget.

We provide support in the following area:

Project Management

  • Governance, planning & admin
  • Risk & issues management
  • Progress chasing & reporting
  • Strategic & operational planning
  • Meetings management – including DfE phase meetings

Support to Free School applications

  • Preparation for and attendance at proposer interviews
  • Development/review of complete application or specific sections
  • Set up of legal structures consistent with DfE requirement

Educational Support

  • Refining & expanding your vision
  • Curriculum development
  • Demonstrating evidence of demand

Consultation & Marketing

  • Statutory consultation
  • Marketing and promotional planning
  • Engaging parents & the community

Legal & Governance Matters

  • Establishing appropriate legal entities
  • Advice on governance arrangements
  • Contractual arrangements
  • Registration with authorities

Business & Financial Planning

  • Detailed business planning
  • Financial forecasting
  • Budgeting
  • Audit Services


  • Principal Designate recruitment
  • Staff team recruitment
  • Staffing structures
  • Contracts of employment

Why choose our services to Free Schools?

EBM’s dedicated education and business consultants, through significant experience and previous working links with PKF and BDO, have a track record of successfully delivering over 40 Free Schools across the country since they were introduced in 2010/11; working with local teams in over 20 offices nationwide.

EBM is a leading group on the DfE’s Project Management and Educational Services Framework for Academies and Free Schools. We have an outstanding track record of successfully delivering projects, many of them of a complex nature in short timescales. We are the group of choice for a number of Multi-Academy sponsors throughout the country.

Our aim is to provide service excellence combined with affordability.