Free Schools

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 self-governing.

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 individual.

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