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 that can make the best of their talents.

We:

  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).

Academies

Parents and carers have asked for some help when schools consult them on proposals to become an academy.

We suggest that parents look at the Department of Education guidance for schools converting to an academy.

Free Schools

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

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

Open Competitions

Proposed new special free school in Bungay, Suffolk

The local authority has been successful in our bid to the Department for Education to open a new special free school in Suffolk and are now seeking proposals from appropriate sponsors.

The new 80 place free school in Bungay will provide places for young people aged 9 to 16 years with complex communication and interaction needs.

In the meantime, the Department for Education website outlines more about the process: Apply to open a special or alternative provision free school.

Information event for prospective providers

An information event for providers interested in applying for either of the two new special schools was held on Thursday 12 March 2020. Download the information shared at the event (PDF, 483KB)

The information event was held for prospective providers interested in applying for either of the two new special schools: 

  • Communication and Interaction School in Bungay
  • School for pupils with Social, Emotional and Mental Health Needs in Bury St Edmunds.

Update

We are still intending to go ahead with interviews for the new special schools in Suffolk in late April (27, 28 and 30). Clearly, circumstances now mean that interviews will need to be carried out using Skype rather then face to face. If your trust is invited to interview and finds itself unable to meet the interview date because of illness, we will ask you to let us know so that we can agree alternative arrangements. If you have any questions about this, please contact joy.stodart@suffolk.gov.uk

Contact us

If you have any questions, contact the Schools Infrastructure Team at schools@suffolk.gov.uk.

Deadline to submit application forms is Friday 3 April 2020


Proposed new special free school in Moreton Hall, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

The local authority has been successful in our bid to the Department for Education to open a new special free school in Suffolk and are now seeking proposals from appropriate sponsors.

The new 80 place free school in Bury St Edmunds will provide places for young people aged 9 to 16 years with complex social, emotional and mental health needs.

In the meantime, the Department for Education website outlines more about the process: Apply to open a special or alternative provision free school.

Information event for prospective providers

An information event for providers interested in applying for either of the two new special schools was held on Thursday 12 March 2020. Download the information shared at the event (PDF, 483KB)

The information event was held for prospective providers interested in applying for either of the two new special schools: 

  • Communication and Interaction School in Bungay
  • School for pupils with Social, Emotional and Mental Health Needs in Bury St Edmunds.

Update

We are still intending to go ahead with interviews for the new special schools in Suffolk in late April (27, 28 and 30). Clearly, circumstances now mean that interviews will need to be carried out using Skype rather then face to face. If your trust is invited to interview and finds itself unable to meet the interview date because of illness, we will ask you to let us know so that we can agree alternative arrangements. If you have any questions about this, please contact joy.stodart@suffolk.gov.uk

Contact us

If you have any questions, contact the Schools Infrastructure Team at schools@suffolk.gov.uk.

Deadline to submit application forms is Friday 3 April 2020 


Proposed new primary free school in Stowmarket, Suffolk

The local authority has been successful in our bid to the Department for Education to open a new primary free school in Suffolk and are now seeking proposals from appropriate sponsors.

The new 210 place primary free school in Stowmarket will provide places for young people aged 4 to 11 years. A 60 place pre-school will also be located on site and Sponsors will also be asked to consider offering places to 2 year olds.

In the meantime, the Department for Education website outlines more about the process: Apply to open a special or alternative provision free school.

Contact us

If you have any questions, contact the Schools Infrastructure Team at schools@suffolk.gov.uk.

Deadline to submit application forms is Friday 1 May 2020

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.