Academy Ambassadors was launched within the Department for Education in 2013 and came under the New Schools Network (NSN) in the same year. NSN is a charity that aims to improve the quality of education – particularly for the most deprived – by increasing the number of good schools within the state sector. For the last five years NSN has helped groups who want to set up free schools. As new, independent state-funded schools, free schools can be set up by charities, groups of teachers, existing schools and parents if they can prove that the school is needed and wanted by a community. Since January 2014 NSN has built a team focused on providing support to open and approved free schools. Academy Ambassadors supports the wider work of NSN by recruiting non-executives to their boards and has occasionally identified new founders of free schools from the business community.