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Go-ahead given for Free School to open in September

THE Secretary of State for Education has this week signed a funding agreement with the trustees of the Steiner Academy Frome, which means the school will open in September this year.

Welcoming the decision lead proposer Guy Marson said, “This is fantastic news and a huge vote of confidence in our project. Until this point we were not a legal entity and despite all the hard work, that’s always in the back of your mind.

“Due to tight timescales we had to open our admissions process before this agreement was signed. Parents have made the difficult decision of applying and accepting places, without knowing that the school would definitely go ahead. Despite that, every class has been fully subscribed and we have waiting lists for each year.

“We now have certainty that the school will open in September and I would like to thank all those parents who shared our dream and believed in our ability to make it happen. From September, the academy will offer children a unique education, based on Steiner principles, which will be free to attend.”

The all-through school will emphasise the long-term value of developing strong imaginative, social and interpersonal and language skills in reception and year 1 before the introduction of formal learning. In common with many countries in the world the introduction of formal literacy and numeracy will take place in year 2.

Trevor Mepham, principal of Steiner Academy Frome said, “We already have a great teaching and support team in place for September who are very much looking forward to welcoming parents and pupils to their new school. During the summer we’ll be offering opportunities for our new school community to get together, to help us get off to a settled start in our first year.”

The signing of the funding agreement follows two periods of public consultation on the academy. The second of these consultations focussed specifically on the decision to site the academy at the Corsley Centre for its first 12 to 18 months, to allow the permanent site in Park Road, Frome to be made ready.

When it opens in September, the academy will cater for pupils from reception through to year 4. It will then grow year on year to become an all-through academy for pupils aged up to 16.