Academies and Free Schools

Academies and Free Schools Including Project Management & Educational Support

Our first three Academies opened in Devon on March 1st 2015 when The SchoolsCompany Trust sponsored the Devon Personalised Learning Service which operated three large Pupil Referral Units across Devon servicing all schools within the county. On sponsorship we rebranded the service into three Alternative Provision Academies and soon after in September 2015 we opened a satellite Special School in Bideford, Devon.

On July 1st 2016 we sponsored Castle Community College in Deal, Kent. The new and legal name of the school is ‘SchoolsCompany The Goodwin Academy’ and the everyday name is ‘Goodwin Academy’. Goodwin Academy will become our flagship Secondary Mainstream 11-18 Academy and in time will become a leading centre of educational training and excellence with partnerships within the UK and internationally.

SchoolsCompany North Devon Academy
Springfield Court
Fishleigh Road
Roundswell Business Park
EX32 3UD

SchoolsCompany Central Devon Academy
The Stansfield Centre
Falcon Road

SchoolsCompany South and West Devon Academy
Shinner’s Bridge

SchoolsCompany Torridge Academy
Chanters Road
EX39 2LP


SchoolsCompany The Goodwin Academy
Mill Road
CT14 9BD

SchoolsCompany Academies – Sponsored by The SchoolsCompany Trust

The Academies Programme

Academies are publicly funded independent schools, free from local authority and national government control. Other freedoms include setting their own pay and conditions for staff, freedoms concerning the delivery of the curriculum, and the ability to change the length of their terms and school days.  The 2010 Academies Act opened up the Academies programme, enabling primary, secondary and for the first time special schools to apply to become Academies to help them innovate and raise standards. The Free Schools programme is a new route to set up Academies. Free Schools are all-ability state-funded schools with Academy status, set up in response to parental and community demand. These changes will enable teachers and head-teachers, rather than politicians and bureaucrats, to take control of their schools. The extended Academy freedoms will give heads more power to tackle disruptive children, to protect and reward teachers better, and to give children the specialist teaching they need.  There are different types of Academies projects that will require different levels of support.

The Free Schools Programme

Free Schools are all-ability, state-funded schools with Academy status, set up in response to parental and community demand. Free Schools will enable parents and teachers to create schools and improve standards for all children, regardless of their background.  These Academies could be schools for children of any age between 5yrs – 18yrs and could offer either mainstream, special or alternative provision.  Free school proposers come from a wide range of backgrounds and could include parent groups, teacher groups, education charities, local business interests – in fact anyone who is concerned about education in their local area. The New Schools Network provides advice and support to proposers in shaping their ideas before submitting a proposal form to the Secretary of State.  Following proposal approval, proposers develop and submit a detailed business case and funding agreement to the Secretary of State.  Then once the business case is approved and funding agreement signed, proposers can prepare for the opening of their Academy. 

Departmental funding is available to Free School proposers to provide delivery support in the business case and pre-opening stages.  The new Department for Education Framework will offer support for these stages.  Free School proposers may identify areas of work which they themselves wish to deliver or procure and suppliers will need to work closely with them to ensure effective overall delivery.