New schools come into existence in different ways
- School closure and re-opening
- Free schools
- Extra schools to meet needed places
School closure and re-opening
A school could close because
- Pupil numbers in a local area are dropping. Several schools have low numbers. The schools close and re-open as one school serving different viallages or areas. In some cases the school site closes altogther and another site is enlarged. Governors make their decisions in consultation with staff, parents, and the local community, They are advised and guided by the diocese and local authority.
- Two schools are on the same site, or very close together. Both schools close and a new school opens for all the children. This is called amalgamation. Governors decisde on amalgamation in consultation with staff, parents, and the local community, They are advised and guided by the diocese and local authority.
- An Ofsted inspection judges the school as inadequate. The Department for Education issues an Academy Order. The school has to change its status, become and academy and join a multi-academy trust. There is no consultation process. The Diocesan Board for Education seeks to find the best multi-academy trust for the school.
Free schools are funded by the Government but are not run by the local authority.
The schools are run on a not-for-profit basis.
Different groups can apply to open a free school.
The Church of England will plan carefully to consider opening new Church schools. It has a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Education that says
Where there is a need for a new Church of England school the RSC will work with the diocese to establish whether working together,
and alongside wider strategic plans, it will be possible to establish a Church of England free school.
Free Schools Update
The DBE are working with strategic partners to advance proposals for new Church of England Free Schools. The doucment Free Schools Progress Update below tells you all about the progress to date including some of the challenges and frustrations in trying to negotiate and second guess the government criteria and processes.
Extra schools to meet needed places
Local authorities have a responsibility tomake sure every child has a school place.
If there are not enough places in local schools the local authority will give serious consideration to opening a new school. The diocese is involved with new school proposals that are close to existing Church schools.
New housing developments might be large enough to require a new school in the same area. Housing contractors are obliged to work in partnership with the local authority to consider the possibility of a new school when several hundred new houses are being built.
The Diocese Board of Education has close partnerships with all its local authorities. It engages in discussion and consultation when new schools are proposed.