Stamford Free School details revealed at public meeting

Mark Woods of Stamford Free School talks to people at the public meeting at Stamford Arts Centre with Kevin Brooks in the background
Mark Woods of Stamford Free School talks to people at the public meeting at Stamford Arts Centre with Kevin Brooks in the background

About 100 people turned out to hear about plans for a free school in Stamford at a public meeting this evening (Friday).

The team behind Stamford Free School presented their proposal for a four form secondary school at Stamford Arts Centre. They want to open the school for 120 Year 7 pupils in September, 2015.

The school, which would cater for 720 pupils by 2021, would be run in partnership with the Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust which already runs three schools in Cambridgeshire and is about to open a fourth.

People at the meeting were told the school would benefit from the expertise and experience of the trust which runs one of the most successful schools in the county, Swavesey Village College. The school received outstanding grades across the board at its latest Ofsted inspection.

Stamford Free School is also planned to be a teacher training school.

The team behind the project were introduced to the public. They are parents Kevin Brooks, Alison Timson, Louise Warren, Jeremy Ball, David Allen and Daniel Evans.

The project’s educational specialists were also introduced including executive principal of the Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust, Mark Woods, and former headteachers Roger Moore and Glynn Rawlins.

Dealing with the business side of the project are Duncan Pickering and Robbie O’Driscoll who both have experience of supporting free school projects.

The Stamford Free School team explained the application process for the proposed facility which will be submitted to the Department for Education in January.

The group revealed that it is currently looking at three sites in the town to develop into the new school, with a new-build the preferable and more likely option.

After the meeting parent Alison Pike, of Stamford, said: “It was nice to hear from the team of people who will deliver this. It is quite reassuring that it is not just a group of well-meaning parents behind this but a group of seemingly really capable, professional and experienced people.”

“It is all really encouraging.”

In April the group revealed plans to apply for Government funding to set up a free school to offer a “genuine alternative for pupils and parents seeking the very highest quality education.”

Since the idea was first publicised, parents of more than 1,000 children have registered their support.

Visit www.stamfordfreeschool.org.uk for details.