Free school funding signed

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The funding agreement for Gildredge House Free School has been signed off by the Department for Education and has been given the go-ahead by Ofsted.

The schools minister signed off the funding agreement at the end of last week – bringing the opening of the school in September another step closer. The team at the new school, which will open in September at the former Dental Estimates Board in Old Town, hopes this latest funding agreement will give parents the confidence they have been waiting for to indicate their final preference and release one of their school places.

They hope it will also be welcome news to schools in the area, who will get a final answer from parents. Until now parents of Reception and Year Seven children wanting to attend Gildredge House had to accept another school place as a back-up.

In addition, Ofsted has carried out a pre-registrartion visit and ensured the school is ready to receive pupils in September .

Lea Gilbert, head teacher at Gildredge House, said, “We were naturally pleased with our inspector’s recommendation that Gildredge House should be allowed to open, but it was most gratifying to hear her praise for certain aspects of the project, such as the care we have put into our transition programme.

“With these significant milestones behind us – planning permission, readiness to open meeting, Ofsted pre-registration inspection and Funding Agreement - we are now moving into an exciting stage of preparations for the opening of Gildredge House.”

All demolition works are now complete and the fitting out of the new classrooms is well underway. The works on the roof are also nearly complete.

The work is being done in two phases. The first will get the school ready for September’s intake of Reception and Year Seven. The second will complete the school, making it suitable for educating children from Reception through to Sixth Form.

The school uniform has also been released. It includes blazers for certain year groups all in a maroon colour scheme.