Intensive Support Programme (ISP)
The founders of Premier New Schools (PNS) have been involved with free schools since prior to Wave 1 in 2011. Over time we have seen a distinct shift in emphasis in favour of established proposers. For this reason, we have launched the PNS Intensive Support Programme (ISP).
What started as a ‘movement’ has become a ‘programme’ and while the rough edges of the process have largely been shaved off, the consequence of this appears to be that, for some, the barriers to entry have increased. This means that many groups who have a great idea for a school that is desperately needed in their area may be discouraged by a process that, while necessarily exacting, can appear daunting.
As an organisation we have benefited commercially by working with those organisations who have the means to retain our advice in producing free school applications and to help them navigate the pre and post-opening phases. We now feel that it is time that we look to ‘re-boot’ the free schools movement and offer opportunities for new proposers who are sitting on a great idea for a much needed school but are not sure how they can bring their plans to fruition.
We cannot (and would not try to) work miracles on proposals that are not needed or wave a magic wand for proposals that do not meet the DfE criteria for success. What we can do is bring experience and professionalism to ideas that are well-conceived but whose architects may be daunted by the array of paperwork that faces the group. Indeed, we have done just this for a number of groups in previous rounds.
The Premier New Schools Intensive Support Programme has been established to ensure that the free schools programme retains its roots in the community and in doing so, retains its diversity with no loss of quality.
Sitting alongside and complementing the advice and guidance available from the New Schools Network and the Department for Education, our education, finance and governance professionals will produce a free school application that focuses your passion and innovation through the prism of the DfE assessment criteria. We cannot guarantee success but we can guarantee that you will not work with a team better equipped or more knowledgeable in terms of both presenting compelling applications and successfully opening free schools with all that this entails.
This work will be supported by our network of trusted partners:-
Michelmores LLP – Support in governance and establishing the academy trust
Kinetic Marketing – Support in community engagement
PCCC – Web design and Search Engine Optimisation
Sadly, we cannot offer support to all groups who deserve it. However, we believe that in re-energising the interest from communities similar to those from where many of the earlier free schools were originated, we can create a new generation of community proposers who believe passionately that challenges for education in their area are best addressed by local solutions.
If you have a burning desire for educational change in your area, know that such change is long overdue and are prepared to put in the hard yards, backed up by our professional support, you can apply for the Premier New Schools Intensive Support Programme here.