Letter Seeking Funding for a Free School
The bulk of the funding for a Free School will be provided by the government. Indeed, part of the reason why the application and proposal process is so difficult is that the government must be able to justify the (often very large) cost of establishing a new school.
The amount of cash provided to Free Schools by the government will be roughly in line with the amount that it costs to run other schools in the area. Broadly speaking, the government works out the average amount that it costs to run the other state schools in the local authority, and allocated funding based on this figure. In addition, the Free School will be given start-up capital to get it off the ground. This figure will depend on the nature of the school itself.
Who Should we Approach for Funding?Of course, many Free Schools are set up with big ideas and aspirations. Given the state of the public finances, it is not unreasonable to expect that the government will be unable to fulfil the financial requirements that stem from some of those aspirations. In these cases, Free Schools might decide to seek funding from third parties.
There is a wide range of organisations from which you might choose to seek extra cash. Businesses are often a good place to start. Local businesses with some money to spend might well be keen to have their name attached to a worthwhile project.
Alternatively, you might seek support from a local community or religious group. This could be particularly effective if your Free School is being set up on religious lines. You should remember, though, that while Free Schools can profess religious allegiances, their admissions processes must be equal and their teaching processes must adhere to the standards set out by Ofsted.
The following is a letter seeking support from a private business – but it should serve as a good starting point when seeking finance from other organisations.
Example LetterYour Name
I am writing to you as a representative of Anyschool. Anyschool is a pioneering school, one of the first of its kind. It provides world-class education in Anytown – an area that has traditionally suffered from a lack of educational opportunities.
Anyschool is run under the Free School principles. It operates an open admissions policy, and is subject to regular Ofsted inspections. The majority of the bill for this brand new school is footed by the government.
But we want to do more. We want to keep extending the range of services that we offer, and improving the quality of education and training that we can provide to the young people of Anytown. I am writing to ask you to help us achieve this.
Anyschool aims to connect with local businesses. We understand that the pockets of the private sector are, in the current strained times, perhaps deeper than those of the government. We want to grow and improve – but we need the finance to enable us to do this.
I have enclosed a copy of our current prospectus, along with our plans and financial forecasts for the coming three years. We would be grateful for support in any area, so please do not hesitate to contact me if you think you can help in any way.
With thanks for your time, and best wishes,