Chairman of governors at Stamford Queen Eleanor School Jonathan Selwyn has released the following statement regarding the proposed free school:
Mr Selwyn said: “I was interested to read the front page article of the Stamford Mercury last week concerning the wishes of a group of parents in the town to set up a new ‘free school’.
“Before embarking on this course of action, we would urge them to come and visit our school and discuss with us their concerns. They may be pleasantly surprised by what they find.
“First and foremost, they will find a united governing body and staff who share their stated aims of a school ‘with high expectations of staff, parents and students; a school which focuses on delivering high quality teaching and high academic standards’.
“When the governing body voted for the school to become an academy in late 2011, one of the major drivers was a commitment to raising standards and levels of achievement throughout the school.
“Just over a year later, the school has made excellent progress in many areas, there is much work still to do and we are absolutely confident of achieving our aims.
“Whilst academic achievement is our top priority, we know that parents don’t only look at the headline GCSE figures. They are also interested in what the school has to offer in terms of pastoral care, their child’s self-esteem and confidence, breadth of curriculum, extra curriculum activities and so on. We believe the school scores highly in all these areas.
“One thing we will never compromise on, however, is our commitment to welcome all children to the school regardless of their background and ability and we believe this is a wholly positive feature of the school.
“On becoming an Academy, the governing body has worked closely with the headteacher and staff to develop a detailed plan focusing on priority areas for action. A key element of this plan has been an honest assessment of which areas of the school are performing well and which areas require further improvement.
“One of the priority areas we identified was raising achievement in Maths and, as a result, this year we have already secured an improvement in GCSE results of 12 per cent compared to last year.
“We encourage all parents of prospective students to visit the school during the working day. We know that when they do, they find a calm and orderly school with dedicated staff striving for the highest academic and pastoral standards. They also find happy, courteous students working hard to achieve their full potential in a modern school with excellent facilities.
“We are proud of our school, its staff and our students and would urge the people of Stamford to support the school wholeheartedly at this important time in its development and to help ensure the future well-being and success of our students.”