Free school moves step closer

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THE Dental Estimates Board is a step closer to becoming a free school called Gildredge House after the Department of Education approved the plan.

The East Sussex Free School steering group is delighted approval has been granted for the pre-opening phase for a free school.

It is hoped, subject to the necessary planning consent and other permission which needs to be granted, that the school will be in Compton Place Road, Old Town.

The school, which will provide education for primary children through to sixth form, will be called Gildredge House and plans to open in September 2013.

The East Sussex Free School steering group says there is a growing number of young families in Eastbourne and local primary schools are already struggling to accommodate the increased demand. Gildredge House plans to provide 56 urgently-needed reception places, and will help to meet the projected shortfall in secondary places in the area.

Gildredge House plans an initial intake of two classes of 28 pupils in reception and six classes of 20 in Year Seven for 2013.

The school will continue with the same intake in Reception and Year Seven each year thereafter, with the first pupils reaching the Sixth Form in 2018.

The free school will be non-selective and aims to specialise in science and technology.

Edward Board, chair of the board of governors, said, “We believe that all pupils should have the opportunity to access a first rate education.

“The ethos of Gildredge House, combined with our rigorous academic standards, will best equip our pupils to tackle the most demanding and complex challenges.”

The admissions policy will be available in early September 2012, and open days will be arranged from this time.

The application timings will be in line with East Sussex County Council’s school admissions key dates, and for 2013 admissions, applications must be made directly to Gildredge House.

For more information visit www.eastsussexfreeschool.org.uk or ‘like’ the school’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/gildredgehouse.