What is a Free School?
A Free School is an independent, state-funded
school set up by members of the community who are determined to
make a difference to the educational landscape in their area.
Free Schools are similar to Academies, in that
they are funded by government but not controlled by it, and just
like other schools, Free Schools are regulated and inspected by
Ofsted, with their exam results published in league tables.
Free Schools are brand new – they can be set
up wherever best serves their community. And even better, they can
be set up by many different groups of people who might have
concerns or great ideas about local school education – from
charities to professional teachers or committed parents.
What does Free School mean? Does it mean ‘non-paying’?
Yes. A Free School is a government name for a
new type of state-funded school where parents and the community
have a greater say in how the school is run.
Is this just a government 'hot topic'? Will things change if a
new government gets into power?
The previous government introduced Academies,
a type of Free School, which were continued by our current
government. There are always changes to the way schools are funded,
including variations introduced by local government. Free Schools
are directly funded by Central government to allow them to be
How are you funded?
Direct from Central government, according to
the number of pupils and other factors. The money comes straight to
the school and it is not top-sliced by local government.
Why choose Bedford Free School over a state school?
For some time, concerned parents and
educational professionals in the local community have been
campaigning for something new in Bedford and Kempston. Parents said
they wanted their children to experience a better education, with
smaller year groups, school days that fit in with modern family
life, and a real commitment to getting learning right. Free Schools
make this possible. Bedford Free School, shaped by the parents and
the educational teams that support it, will not only have the
freedom to direct resources where they are most needed, but also to
design a curriculum which supports each student as an