Free School

We know that opening a free school is no easy task, especially when some members of the proposing group may not have worked in schools before.

We can guide you through every stage of the process.

Helping you open a free school

SBS has worked with and opened many successful free schools. We can provide cost effective, structured services to suit a brand new school opening, focussing only on the key elements at each stage, allowing your school to make the best use of the limited early budget.

SBS is fortunate to have worked closely with Place Group on many opening free schools. Circumstances are varied and the projects are very challenging but incredibly rewarding for all parties concerned.

Our consultants will advise and guide you to establish a school that you want, rather than one that fits a pre-defined model. From the initial application through to the successful running of the school, we can provide expertise and access to partnerships that allow your group to concentrate on ensuring the governance and community aspects of the
school remain at the fore.

Free school support options

Application support

It is crucially important that your application to open a free school is financially viable.  SBS can support you to establish initial costs and financial viability using the DfE templates. We will support you through the whole process to ensure your application:

  • Represents value for money
  • Demonstrates financial plans that are consistent with other aspects of the application and are based on supportable and realistic assumptions about income and expenditure
  • Shows that the school will be financially sustainable once there is a cohort of pupils in each year, and under the 90% pupil recruitment ‘stress test’
  • Shows that the school will be financially resilient to reductions in income

Pre- and post-opening support

We provide proposing groups with the exact services and consultancy required for a fledgling school to make the best use of limited early budgets.

SBS provides the finance support for a school that includes:

  • A complete 6 year budget, monitoring and reporting of the lead in budget
  • Procurement of service contracts for both pre- and post-opening phases
  • Implementation of policies and procedures as recommended in the school’s financial guidelines
  • Recruitment of key support staff
  • Regular budget reports and budget management advice
  • Bank account management including cash flow and bank reconciliation
  • Financial management reports and annual financial statements design and implementation
  • Accounting system implementation and setup
  • Payroll setup including HMRC, TPS, LGPS set up and implementation
  • Asset register commission and implementation

Service Levels & Options → Risk Management →

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