Once approved, your free school will be a public sector authority funded by taxpayers’ money. And every public sector authority must use the basic rules of procurement whenever they spend public money. These rules aim to ensure that public funds are spent openly and fairly, and make the most of every budget, while protecting you against legal challenges, financial penalties and damage to your school's reputation. 

To begin, we recommend that you speak to your named project lead in the Department for Education as early as possible. They’ll help you to get to grips with the key procurement issues you will face, both when seeking approval and while running your school. 

The Department has also produced a basic guide to procurement for free schools, which you can download in the following pages. It will help you to understand how to manage your school's spending, securing best-value outcomes and reducing the risk of complications and costly mistakes.