Rugby’s first free school set to be ‘fantastic’

Cllr Helen Walton and Cllr Jill Simpson-Vince, lead proposer Tom Legge, Cllr Carolyn Robbins and trustee David Johnson

Cllr Helen Walton and Cllr Jill Simpson-Vince, lead proposer Tom Legge, Cllr Carolyn Robbins and trustee David Johnson

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Parents will face a tough choice when deciding where to send their children as the town’s first free school will be ‘fantastic’, according to the lead proposer.

Rugby Free Primary School plans to open in September next year with an initial intake of 60 pupils.

Lead proposer Tom Legge, who lives in Rugby and has opened more than 30 free schools, said the school had already received applications from parents.

“There’s still lots to do but things are going well,” he said.

“We’ve had a really good number of applications already and our first parents’ evening was well attended.

“More than 100 people have booked in for our next one.”

The school will be non-selective and free to attend.

A site should be confirmed soon and the school plans to open in the north of the town.

Mr Legge said: “Every teacher will be qualified and we will have a very good staff to pupil ratio, particularly when we first set up, as there will be two reception classes of 30 children each and three teachers between them.”

The school plans to cater for 420 pupils by 2021.

Mr Legge said: “We want to focus on literacy and numeracy and help pupils achieve to the best of their ability.

“It’s a chance to do everything fresh and we think it will be fantastic.”

Parents can apply for a place at the free school and a local authority school.

“Applying is essentially a risk-free option and we hope it will be a tough choice as it will mean there are two fantastic schools for parents to pick from,” Mr Legge said.

“Some parents want their children to take the 11+ exam but can’t afford the private tuition and I think that’s unfair.

“We can help children prepare for the 11+ if they want to take it. We don’t have to follow the national curriculum but we will be using it and building on it,” Mr Legge added.

Who will be in charge at the free school?

The school will be run by a team of professionals and community members.

Tom Legge: Lead proposer and education consultant.

David Johnson: Expert in project delivery and contract management.

Antony Power: Solicitor and chair of governors at a special school.

Jacqueline Read: Experienced children’s tutor

Jill Simpson-Vince: Coton and Boughton ward councillor.

To find out more about Rugby Free Primary School, go to www.rugbyfreeprimary.co.uk.