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Free school for Medway gets the go-ahead

Date: 23/05/2013           Category: Learning and Achievement

A new free school in Medway has today (Wednesday, 22 May) been given the green light to open by the Government.

It will be The Inspire special free school based on the current site of The Oaks in Walderslade and will initially serve 40 children, with the capacity to take 80 pupils eventually. The school will officially open in September 2014 and will provide education for children with emotional and behavioural concerns.

Three Medway headteachers – Dr Gary Holden, headteacher of the Sir Joseph Williamson Mathematical School, Kim Johnson, headteacher at Bradfields, and Andy Reese, headteacher at Greenacre School – drafted the bid along with officers from Medway Council.

It was submitted to the Department for Education in January 2013.

A headteacher will be appointed early next year to help prepare the school.

Medway Council Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services Cllr Mike O’Brien said: “We submitted an innovative and strong bid – thanks to the work of the three headteachers involved, who all have significant authority in Medway, many years experience in education, and are committed to improving learning for our children.

“We had a powerful case for a free school in Medway and I am delighted that we have been awarded this bid. This school will provide a high quality provision for statemented children with emotional and behavioural concerns.

“A innovation feature of this proposal is that the Inspire school will work closely in partnership with Medway Council when generally free schools work independently of the local authority.

"My thanks go to everyone involved in working on this bid. The free school will give some of our most vulnerable children the best start in life.”