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Free schools FAQ

We have listed below answers to some frequently asked questions. However, if there is anything else you would like to know about New Generation Schools Trust or our schools, please do not hesitate to contact us. 

What is a Free School?

A Free School is a type of Academy, a non-profit-making, independent, state-funded school which is free to attend but which is not controlled by a Local Authority. Free Schools were introduced by the Liberal Democrat-Conservative coalition government to introduce greater choice and diversity into the world of education. Free School proposers involve a range of people including teachers, charities, parents and education experts who collaborate together to address the demands and needs within their local areas and find new ways to support children.

What inspired New Generation Schools Trust to open free schools?

The government announced the opportunities for Free Schools in 2010, inviting charities, faith organisations and community groups to become providers of learning.  In 2011, places for Primary Schools in the local area of Foots Cray in the London Borough of Bexley were in high demand. The Board of New Generation Schools Trust decided that a Free School should be the next step in the development of community provision and education for the local area. 

New Generation Schools Trust is passionate about education and intends to set up further new and outstanding schools for children. We believe that our schools offer local families an excellent, additional educational choice.

What support has New Generations Schools Trust received?

Hope Community School, Sidcup, our first Free School, has received incredible support from local authorities, agencies and other schools. The School is also working closely with local businesses and community partners to develop exciting and authentic learning opportunities. Our school is also supported by; local churches, politicians, teachers, local organisations, families and individuals.

Other Hope Community Schools will be supported in similar innovative ways.

Does it cost to send children to your schools?

No, we believe education should be free and inclusive for all.

Who pays for our schools to be run?

The Department for Education funds our schools directly. In state schools, the funding goes to the local education authority, which retains part of the money to fund central education services, and distributes the rest to the school. As a Free School, we receive the total amount, which is paid directly to the school, allowing greater autonomy for us to choose how we spend the money.

Are you a faith school?

Yes, our schools are registered as schools of religious designation of the Christian faith. We are motivated by our faith and Christian values run throughout all Hope Community Schools. Each of our schools will have a 'partner church', which has helped to set up the school and will provide ongoing support in the form of volunteers and resources. In accordance with our inclusive Christian ethos, our schools are open to families of all faiths and no faith.

How do you use the Free School freedoms?

Do you operate a non-standard day? Yes. Our school day is slightly longer than standard, for year 1 upwards the school day finishes at 3:40pm with a 'soft end' until 4pm. 
Do you operate a non-standard year? No. Our schools follow local authority term dates. 
Do you adopt the National Curriculum? No. We use the National Curriculum as the main vehicle of the curriculum enhanced by using a creative and thematic approach to learning (where it lends itself). 
Do you adopt non-standard Terms and Conditions for teaching staff? Yes. Our terms and conditions are non-standard. For example continuous service is not recognised and the working day is slightly longer. 
Do you employ teachers without QTS? None. All class teachers will have QTS, we may from time to time employ specialists to deliver particular projects. 
Do you use any other freedoms?  None

How can I get involved?

New Generation Schools Trust appreciates and values all of the support we receive. You can get involved through:

• Giving

• Prayer

• Volunteering