Frequently Asked Questions

What is a free school?
Free schools are independent, state-funded schools. They have the same legal status as academies.

Why is a new secondary school needed?
The new secondary school is needed to help to address the increasing need for additional secondary school places within Nuneaton.

When will Higham Lane North Academy open?
The school is scheduled to open in September 2025 subject to the required statutory approvals.

Where will the school be located?
The school will open in a state-of-the-art new build off Higham Lane at the new Top Farm neighbourhood in Weddington, north-east Nuneaton.

Who will run the school?
Higham Lane North Academy is being established by Central England Academy Trust, which runs Higham Lane School, judged as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted in May 2019 and as World Class in 2021. Higham Lane North Academy will become the fourth school in the Central England Academy Trust, a thriving, diverse multi-academy Trust with incredible scope for collaborative working and opportunities across the region.

Can free schools make a profit?
No. Free schools are run on a not-for-profit basis by a charitable trust. The school will be run by the Headteacher and their leadership team and they will be answerable to a Board of Governors.

How will the school be accountable?
As with all three existing schools, HLNA will have its own Local Governing Body which will be officially constituted as a committee of the Board of Trustees, by which it will be held accountable. In addition, the school will also be accountable to the Department for Education through the terms of its Funding Agreement.

Trustees and school governors will meet regularly with the Headteacher and school staff in order to provide both challenge and support for the school.

Why are you only accepting applications for Year 7 pupils?
Our proposed intake reflects where demand for places has been identified. The new secondary school is proposed to open in September 2025 with five Year 7 classes (150 places) and grow in line with the local need for additional secondary school places until reaching full capacity as a 900-pupil school with 180 pupils in each year group from Year 7 to Year 11.

Are free schools selective?
No. Free schools have to follow the new admissions code in the same way as all state-funded schools.

Will a new school opening in the area mean less money for the other schools in the area?
No. Funding for free schools will be equivalent to the funding of maintained schools and academies in the same local authority area. The opening of a free school does not mean that the overall funding available in an area goes down. However, the total funding an individual school receives will depend on the number of pupils attending.

Will Higham Lane North Academy be inspected by Ofsted?
Yes. Free schools are subject to the same inspection and examination requirements as other academy category schools. The school will also be inspected by Ofsted prior to opening and will be subject to termly visits from the Department for Education during its first year.

Have you chosen a Headteacher for the school?
Not yet. We will be advertising nationally for a high-calibre leader to take on this opportunity. We hope to be able to appoint our Headteacher Designate to start in January 2025.

How can I apply for a place for my child/children?
Details of the application process and timings will be updated on the Admissions pages of our website.

How can I give my views?
You can complete the questionnaire here.

You can also send any questions or comments to or leave us a message on 024 7638 8123 (Higham Lane School), specifying the Higham Lane North Academy consultation. We will note your comments or call you to discuss. 

The consultation period ends at 12pm on Tuesday 30th July 2024. We would appreciate your views and feedback by this date.

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