Free schools are a type of academy that can be set up by suitable organisations and groups to meet local demand for greater variety of schools in a particular area. Start-up funding is available, and annual revenue is currently based on the average funding received by maintained schools and academies in the same local authority.

The New Schools Network advises and supports proposers through the application process.

There were 444 free schools, 50 university technical colleges and 27 studio schools with a potential capacity of 290.000 places as of 1 May 2019.

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