Academies, free schools and open competitions

Find out about academies and free schools in Suffolk, including open competitions for new free schools.

Suffolk County Council has a responsibility to ensure that all children in Suffolk have access to a good school which can make the best of their talents.


  1. Support parental choice both to help children find the school that best suits their needs as well as to develop the local school system as a whole.
  2. Will work to a presumption of support for the creation of academies and free schools, actively managing their introduction into the existing system of schools.

Download the academies and free schools policy statement (PDF, 16KB).


Parents and carers have asked for some help when schools consult them on proposals to become an academy. We suggest that parents ask the questions in the document below.

DfE guidance for schools converting to an academy

Free schools

A school, set up by an organisation or group of individuals that is not controlled by the local authority and is funded by the government.

GOV.UK provide information and guidance about the establishment of free schools.

Open competitions

Free School Presumption Competition  - Primary School in Lakenheath, Suffolk

Please note - The opening of the new Free School in Lakenheath has been delayed from 2019 to 2020. This is due to a delay in determination of the housing planning applications, new school will serve the pupils arising from these developments.

The local authority is seeking proposals from appropriate sponsors to open this new 210-place primary free school in Lakenheath, to open in September 2019.

For all enquiries, please contact

One copy of the proposal should be sent electronically ( and two hard copies sent by a guaranteed delivery method (applications may be hand delivered) to: Joy Stodart, Schools Infrastructure Team, Endeavour House, 8 Russell Road, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 2BX

Deadline for receipt of proposals is Friday 4 May 2018 at midday.

Closed competitions

For details on closed competitions where Suffolk County Council were seeking a sponsor for a new school please visit Education and Learning Infrastructure Plan for more information.