Establishing a new school and getting it right from the start

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Establishing a new school and getting it right from the start

By SSAT and the Woodard family of schools
Publication Date: 2015

There has always been a need to review the schools stock, to close surplus or excessively dysfunctional schools, to expand provision to meet need or to meet our global society’s changing needs in innovative and creative ways. Whether it is to give parents more choices, children a better education or society a more suitably qualified and skilled workforce, there is a growing appetite, need and opportunity to open a new school.

In most cases, this means establishing in advance the business and education cases for the new school, securing the engagement and support of communities and policymakers, and building the essential founding blocks for future success and sustainability. New schools must overcome a unique and challenging set of hurdles such as promoting a vision with no history or track record; recruiting your governing body, senior leadership team and first cohorts of pupils; offering a broad and balanced curriculum with small numbers of pupils.

As the school goes through its early years of growth, it must address how the first group of pupils and staff adapt to new cohorts; manage temporary accommodation; and how teachers, as the only teacher of their subject, make strategic decisions, with no immediate colleagues to call on and discuss.

This publication brings together the insights, experiences and expertise of school leaders, and authorities from a wide range of contexts within the maintained and independent sectors. Whether from headteachers, CEOs of MATs, leading academics, commercial experts or policy advisers, there is here a wealth of ideas, strategies and practices that should help you to find your answers to the questions.

Establishing a new school and getting it right from the start

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