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Free schools which opened in September 2012 received post-opening funding in addition to their per pupil funding. The only exception to this relates to independent schools becoming free schools which do not receive additional funding except where there are exceptional circumstances.
Post-opening funding is designed to enable schools to cover essential initial costs, such as buying books and equipment; and to meet the costs arising as the school builds up its cohorts over time - as they could not otherwise meet the full cost of a headteacher and other senior staff from the per pupil funding initially received. This funding is essential to meet the additional costs associated with starting a brand new school. Similar support has always been provided to new academies, for example: the King Solomon Academy, the Brent Academy, the Wren Academy, and The City Academy, Hackney (opened 2007 to 2009) all received between £634,000 and £1,374,820 of start-up funding during their first year of opening.
Levels of post-opening funding received by schools will vary according to the specific circumstances of individual schools, which will include a number of different factors such as the size of the school, the staffing structure, and relationships with existing schools which may enable savings to be made through the sharing of services.
In determining the amount of pre-opening funding free schools received, we sought to achieve best value for money and to reduce the overall costs of setting up a new school. This is why free schools opening from September 2013 and beyond have their post opening grant allocated on a strict formulaic basis which caps the total payable.
The post-opening funding allocated to each of the free schools opening in September 2012 is available on the department's website.
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