Apply to become an academy sponsor

Potential proposers are asked to complete the full application form which is attached to this page.

The full application form should be sent by email no later than 5pm on 23 March 2018 to Sue Pegg, Ref DEV/SVP, email:

School specification

The new primary school will be located within the site of the new housing developments at Highfields Farm.

Expected opening date

The timing of the opening will be dependent on the delivery of the housing in the development but it is anticipated that it will be September 2020.

Age range

The age range of the schools will be four to 11 years. The school does not include a nursery.


The capacity of each school will be 210 pupils. There are two key principles that guide how we wish the see the new schools open:

  • there should be sufficient places to ensure that families moving into the new housing developments are able to secure places at the school
  • that the school serving the new housing developments at Highfields Farm does not open in a way that causes problems at the existing primary schools in the area by adversely affecting their intake numbers.

We would wish to work with the sponsor to agree a pattern for the opening of place provision to ensure these principles are adhered to, whilst working with and supporting the existing local schools. These proposals will form part of the evaluation of bids. The maximum period we would expect to provide additional support to the school as its numbers rise is four years.

It is recognised that the Secretary of State will decide on which sponsor with whom he or she will enter into a funding agreement. However, we will make a recommendation to the Secretary of State as to its preferred sponsor, following evaluation according to our published criteria.

The DfE will only consider entering into a funding agreement with an approved sponsor. If you are a new sponsor, you will need to go through the DfE's sponsor approval process and should contact the DfE as soon as possible and before submitting your full application form to us.

We will evaluate proposals received and provide the DfE with copies of the proposals and our assessment of them. Our assessment criteria mirrors, as far as possible, those used by the DfE. These focus on strategic vision, educational capacity and performance, financial planning and operational capacity and governance.

Additionally, we would expect sponsors to demonstrate:

  • how they will ensure that pupil achievement and rates of progress are above national expectations
  • how they will ensure vulnerable groups of pupils perform as well as other children
  • that they have a strong culture of working collaboratively with other education providers locally and in other parts of Derbyshire, and specifically in the Highfields Farm area
  • how they will support the integration of the development of the new community at Highfields Farm, including their commitment to working in partnership with local stakeholders
  • how they will work in close partnership with us

You will need to submit a focused and coherent education plan as part of Section C of the application. Also, you will need to submit a three year budget plan as part of Section D of the application.

Background documents

The background documents are attached to this page.

Related documents

The following documents are in Portable Document Format (PDF). You can download software to view PDF documents for free from the Adobe website (opens in a new window)

The following document is in Word format. You will need a Word viewer installed on your computer in order to open these files.