‘Rumours about school are untrue’

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Rumours that Gildredge House Free School is no longer going ahead have been denied.

This week prospective parents hoping to send their children to the school, which is supposed to open at the old Dental Board site this September, became concerned the school had run in to problems.

Rumours including issues over funding and the school losing its headteacher were circulating across the town but the school has this week assured parents and interested parties that everything is on track.

Gildredge House is still expecting to open in September 2013 and a planning application to change the use of the building and make alterations has now been lodged with Eastbourne Borough Council.

In addition, a spokesperson from the Gildredge House has shown the Herald a letter from the Department for Education, addressed to the headteacher Lea Gilbert, stating the process of setting up the free school in Eastbourne is progressing well.

The letter, dated March 6, is signed from Mary Pooley, deputy director of free schools for the Department for Education, said, “As part of our Free Schools programme, we are delighted to be working with groups, such as yours, which share our vision to provide more children with the opportunity for an outstanding education.

“You are making excellent progress towards opening your school. We note that it is oversubscribed and that the Dental Estimates Board building has been secured as the site for the school to open in September this year. All this is encouraging.

“As you know the final stage in the process is signing the funding agreement and we expect your agreement to be finalised in the next few weeks.

“I would like to thank you, your team and all those who are looking to join the school’s staff, for your hard work and commitment and look forward to the successful opening of your school.”

The spokesperson from the school said 120 offer letters for Year Seven places had been sent out and ‘talented and inspirational’ teachers had been recruited.

Mrs Gilbert, headteacher, said, “We are delighted to have an outstanding and experienced teaching and management team with a proven track record on board as well as welcoming our first Reception and Year Seven pupils in September.”