Since the first free schools opened in 2011, the policy has seen multiple changes in direction: once critical local authorities now run free school competitions alongside the DfE; the demand for Special and Alternative Provision free schools has resulted in a dedicated application process; more and more applications come from growing multi-academy trusts, not the parent and community groups once envisaged; and countless lessons learned have been implemented the policy is refined.
As we approach the 14th round of application submissions, we invite you to explore and debate what the future holds for free schools and how education can become the heart of the post-Brexit domestic agenda.
Across two days, over 250 sessions will take place at the Festival. A full timetable of sessions will be available from late May 2019. Until this point we will only be announcing the day(s) sessions will be taking place.