Free school appoints its head

Lea Gilbert will be the head of Gildredge House Free School
Lea Gilbert will be the head of Gildredge House Free School

Gildredge House, a new free school for Eastbourne, has announced the appointment of a head teacher.

The steering group behind Gildredge House plans to open a school for four to 19-year-olds at the old Dental Estimates Board site in Compton Place Road next year.

The school has been given the go-ahead by the Department of Education and has now appointed a headmistress. Lea Gilbert is currently deputy headmistress of The Peterborough School, a highly regarded all-through, co-educational independent school.

Mrs Gilbert will be joining Gildredge House in April next year. In the meantime, she will be spending time meeting parents, developing the curriculum and recruiting staff alongside the governing body.

Mrs Gilbert said, “I am so excited about being the first Head of Gildredge House, a school which will embody so many of the things that I hold dear: academic excellence, community participation and leadership opportunities, enhanced by a rich extracurricular life that extends throughout the school day and beyond.

“I believe that every child can do amazing things and at Gildredge House it’s our job to help make this potential a reality.”

Open days have been arranged so that prospective parents can find out more about the school. Parents will be able to tour the site and meet Mrs Gilbert at the Year Seven open day this Saturday (October 20)

It will take place at the site in Compton Place Road. Parents and carers of children due to start Year Seven in September 2013 are invited to book their place.

Reception open days will follow on Saturday, November 17) and on Thursday, November 22.

Simon Rule, vice chair of the governors, said, “We are delighted that we will be able to meet parents and show them the site.

“Although refurbishment work will be required to convert the site into a fully-functioning school, we are sure that parents will appreciate the incredible potential that the site has to offer for an all-through, outstanding education for their children.”

To book a place at any of the open days or to find out more call 0800 358 59 60 or email

The school will open with two classes of 28 in Reception and six classes of 20 pupils in Year Seven in 2013.

Applications must be made directly to Gildredge House by October 31 for Year Seven places or by January 15 for Reception places.

Application to Gildredge House should be made in addition to other schools following the usual Local Authority process, giving parents a choice should they be offered two places.

Applications can be made online at, where the group behind the school is updating information.

Printed copies of the forms are also available from the school’s registered address at 47 Cornfield Road, Eastbourne.