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That has been a question I have been asked many times.

The Government describes free schools as schools that “are funded by the government but are not run by the local council. They have more control over how they do things. They are ‘all-ability’ schools, so cannot use academic selection processes like a grammar school. Free schools can:

  • set their own pay and conditions for staff
  • change the length of school terms and the school day

And they don’t have to follow the National Curriculum”

Freedom but accountable

  • We will be following the national curriculum and will be ensuring that all of our pupils are ready to reach their full potential when it comes to national examinations and end of year expectations.
  • We will still be assessed by Ofsted.
  • We will be accountable to a strong governing body who will hold me and my team to account for the decisions we will make.
  • We will be free to develop a curriculum at Grove that, although based on the expectations of the national curriculum assessments, is shaped to suit our vision for all-through education.
  • We will be free to provide a unique offer to our staff that gives them a fantastic opportunity to work across different phases of education and develop their skills and expertise in a school with a strong community feel.
  • We will be free to exploit the richness of ideas from the latest research as well as the values from traditional methods that have been proved to work.
  • We will be free of the baggage of ‘but we have always done it that way’ excuses.

We are designing a curriculum that not only meets the needs of Ofsted and examination boards but also meets the needs of local employers and the needs of our young people themselves.

We are creating a community, although big, will be a small school at heart. Where parents can feel reassured that their child is known by many caring people very well at every step of they school career..

We want like minded people to join us:

  • teachers and support staff who are up for a challenge, want to be at the start of something good, who can look back and say ‘I did that!’
  • parents who want the best for their children and are ready to work with us
  • pupils who are ready of a challenge and keen to make a difference

So what is a free school? Not sure it matters really, you just need to know that we are going to be free to create a school that will be the heart beat of the local community.

We are free to be fabulous!

Andrea Fricker

Excited Principal Designate