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Sponsor an academy

As the Strategic Commissioner of Education Provision in the county, we're responsible for ensuring there are sufficient high quality places for all learners, while at the same time fulfilling our other responsibilities to raise education standards and be the champion of children and their families in securing good quality education.

We've been working closely with partner planning authorities to identify where significant housing development will require new school place provision, and one area where demand is significant is South Derbyshire.

We've been working with the South Derbyshire Planning Authority to identify the impact of housing developments on education infrastructure. This has identified the need for a new school at Highfields Farm, Findern to serve these growing communities. A school site has been identified within the housing development and plans for the new school are the subject of ongoing discussion.

The housing development in Highfields Farm is estimated to produce approximately 240 additional pupils resulting in a demand for school places which cannot be met locally. Therefore, we are seeking a sponsor for a new one form entry academy or free school that will serve the new housing development at Highfields Farm.

The opening of the new schools will be the subject of discussion with the appointed academy sponsor to ensure they are timed to meet demand for places from the new housing.

Education vision

The vision for Derbyshire is to be the most forward looking area in England for education and learning so that it is the best place for children and young people to grow up, learn, develop and achieve. Derbyshire is a place where families thrive and all children learn and develop well from the earliest years so that they are ready to succeed at school, have excellent foundations for learning and are equipped well for achievement in life, no matter what their background.

We set the expectation that every child and young person will make good progress in their learning, to achieve well and to have the best opportunities for an independent economic and social life as they become young adults. Every child and young person should go to a good or outstanding school, have access to the best teaching, and benefit from schools and other providers working in partnership with each other to share the best practice as they continue to improve.

Key dates

Invitation to submit a proposal published 12 February 2018

Deadline for receipt of applications 23 March 2018

We inform DfE of all proposals received 30 March 2018

Promoter Assessment Panel meets (provisional) 18 and 22 May 2018

We submit all proposals to the Secretary of State June 2018

Secretary of State appoints the sponsor (provisional) August 2018

Project details

Admission arrangements

The published admission number for each school will be 30. It is expected that there would be a clear commitment to serve the local community of the new development at Highfields Farm and to support the creation of a community in these areas. The schools are intended to serve families living within walking distance of the school in order to reduce the need for car journeys. The calculation point for admissions purposes will be the entrance gate of the school site and it is from here that distances from the school will be measured. All sponsors are required to follow the DfE School Admissions Code and the School Admission Appeals Code. Sponsors will be required to participate in our coordinated scheme for the normal admission rounds and our in-tear fair access procedures.

The school buildings

The school at Highfields Farm will be procured and built by us to the agreed EFA specification for a 1FE primary school. The site and buildings will be owned by us but leased to the academy or free school trust for 125 years at a peppercorn rent. The lease will be in line with the DfE guidance.

Revenue funding

Start-up costs: We will provide a project development fund to be agreed with the successful academy or free school but it will be in line with the funds provided by the Education Funding Agency (EFA) for academies and free schools that do not follow the presumption route. On opening, the new schools will be funded directly by the Education Funding Agency, however, we will provide a growth fund for post opening support. The support will be in line with DfE guidance and will include an element for pupils as well as a leadership element. Details of this will be agreed once the pattern of admissions has been agreed with the sponsor. The EFA also provides a one-off grant of £25,000 for legal costs.

The indicative budget for Highfields Farm is attached to this page.

We will not pay further 'project management costs' to the sponsor. Therefore, potential sponsors will need to confirm that they would be prepared to proceed on this basis if they are selected.