What is a Free School?

free school application submittedFree Schools, Academies, Faith Schools, Grammar Schools, Independent Schools, State Schools – The different names given to schools can be confusing, so let us tell you all about what a Free School actually is…

Government Funded

All new schools that the government commit to build are Free schools. They are funded by the government, but not run by the local council, which means each school can decide on how to spend their budget.

All-Ability Schools

Free Schools are open to all abilities. There is no academic selection process (unlike a grammar school).


All Free Schools are run on a not-for-profit basis. They can be set up and run by charities, universities, communities and businesses. In our case, the Free School has been set up by the John Taylor Multi Academy Trust (JTMAT).

Not Required to Follow National Curriculum

By not having to follow the national curriculum, Free Schools have the opportunity to offer a broad and balanced curriculum.

The Curriculum at our Free School will mirror many of the successes of the curriculum on offer at John Taylor High School. It will build on the Ofsted-praised ‘STRIPE’ (Self Manager, Team Worker, Reflective, Innovate and Create, Participate, Enquirer). A skills curriculum that enables young people to become independent learners with excellent attitudes to their own learning.

Freedom and Flexibility

Free Schools can set their own pay and conditions for staff and can change the length of school terms and even the school day. At John Taylor Free School, we have chosen to keep our term dates in line with Staffordshire County Council’s. The school day will mirror that of John Taylor High School, with the school day commencing at 8:55am and finishing at 3:40pm.

Earlier this year, the Department for Education approved applications for an additional 131 new schools, creating more than 69,000 much needed places. Free schools are one of the highest performing groups of non-selective state schools, with 29% of those inspected rated outstanding by Ofsted.


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