New Schools Network invites school bids for £650k fund

Charity launches fund aimed at supporting free schools and academy trusts that are focused on tackling disadvantage after losing government contract
10th August 2022, 1:25pm

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New Schools Network invites school bids for £650k fund

https://www.tes.com/magazine/news/general/new-schools-network-free-schools-invites-school-bids-ps650k-fund
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A charity that lost a government contract to support free schools after more than a decade has launched a grant fund aimed at backing “innovative thinking” in free schools and academy trusts.

The New Schools Network (NSN) Innovation Fund will be worth £650,000 and will be open to applications from eligible schools in the autumn.

The fund is open to applications from schools in England that are focused on tackling disadvantage and “encouraging innovation in education”, particularly in “left-behind communities”, the NSN said.

David Ross, chair of NSN, said the charity had a “proud history” of advocating for educational equality and for a system in which every child can attend a good school, and in “supporting innovation” to achieve this goal.

“I am delighted that the board of trustees has taken the decision to make available a brand new fund that will support those who wish to continue this work”, he added.

New Schools Network launches ‘innovation’ fund

“Now, more than ever, we need to ensure that innovative thinking and new ways of doing things are encouraged, so that every child in every community genuinely has the best possible start in life.”

Earlier this year the NSN lost out on a government contract to carry on in its role supporting free schools - a contract it had held since its inception over a decade ago.

The network, which was set up in 2009 by Rachel Wolf, a former adviser to Michael Gove when he was education secretary, had bid for the £1.5 million three-year contract to provide free-school support but the contract was instead awarded to Premier Advisory Group.

The NSN said more detail on the new fund would be made available in the coming months, but free schools and their academy trusts wishing to register their interest can do so here.

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