Free school consults again after argument

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The row between founders of Gildredge House Free School has led to another consultation.

Parents feared the school, due to open on Old Town’s former Dental Estimates Board site in September, was no longer going ahead after organisers fell out.

The Department of Education become involved and sided with Lea Gilbert, who had been appointed as head teacher. In a letter to Mrs Gilbert, the Department for Education said funding was due to be completed and the school was on track.

This has angered some of the founders of Gildredge House who are now longer involved.

Despite the row, Lea Gilbert’s team say everything is on track to open the school in September and this week they have explained they are forming a new trust, which will in turn appoint new governors, following advice from the Department of Education.

A spokesperson from Gildredge House said, “This was due to a fundamental division of opinion between members and governors of the original trust.

“The DfE recommended to the Secretary of State that he should not enter into a funding agreement with the original trust and that it should be replaced with a new one. The most important issue is the successful establishment and running of Gildredge House.

“At the beginning of March a new trust, Gildredge House Free School Trust, was formed to open and run the school.”

Mrs Gilbert said, “Although a new trust has been formed, the vision and ethos for the school and the passion and commitment demonstrated by the community to open Gildredge House remain the same.”

The new trust will be holding a drop-in consultation on Saturday (April 6) from 2pm and 4pm and on April 22 from 6pm to 8pm at Community Wise, Ocklynge Road. Alternatively, visit www.gildredgehouse.org.uk/consultation, email consultation@gildredgehouse.org.uk or call 0845 257 5070.