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 33KB).


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

Proposed New Special Free School in Ipswich, Suffolk

The authority is seeking proposals from appropriate sponsors to open this new 60-place SEMH/ASD free school in Ipswich.

The application window closed on Friday 24 November at mid-day, we will continue to respond to queries but applications will not be accepted.

For all enquiries, please contact

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.