Five members of the proposer group attended an interview at the DfE offices in Westminster on Tuesday the 11th of March. We felt it went well, the questions were rigorous and covered topics such as governance, finance, our potential cohort, our choice of curriculum and the vision which underpins our project. We expect to hear more in around June but have already started with some of the preparatory work for the pre-opening stage. If you would like some more information or think you have the relevant skills we may need please do get in touch, we’d love to hear from you! firstname.lastname@example.org
The proposer team have been advised by the Department for Education that they wish to interview us next week to discuss our application in more detail. This is a great next step and we are delighted to have the opportunity to introduce the team in person and explain our vision for the school.
The proposer team are delighted to announce that their application for a new secondary school in South Woking was hand delivered to the DfE yesterday. We would like to thank everyone who has contributed to making this happen: our parent supporters, the local community, local politicians and officials, all the head teachers and teachers we have met and consulted and all the other experts who have given us their time, advice and support. We would also like to thank our families and friends for their endless patience!
A press release can be found here: HVFS Submits Application
We will keep our supporters updated via the website, our facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/wokingfreeschool) and via twitter @HoeValleyFreeSc
The Diocese of Guildford announced their intention to apply to open a new secondary school in the area to the east of Woking. They will do so in January, aiming for a 2016 opening. This proposal will not affect our bid and we will apply in January for a 2015 opening as we have always planned.
Whilst each proposal will be judged on its merits, we believe it is unlikely that both proposals would be approved by the Department for Education. If the Diocese bid is successful those local parents with children needing a place in September 2015 will not have a place provided by either bid. In subsequent years, families in south Woking (particularly those not practising a faith) could struggle to gain a place because of the proposed selective admissions criteria.
Our vision is for a school that is non-selective, non-faith based with a comprehensive intake serving all the families of south Woking, an area particularly seriously affected by a shortage of secondary school places starting from 2015, with the added pressure of significant new housing developments.
We are a parent led group and this school will be for our children too so we have worked hard to build a strong team which includes experienced senior school leaders, teachers, business people and school governors. We have been meeting and speaking to parents for over a year, visited many nationally outstanding schools to understand what they do so well and believe that the school we envision is not only needed but also wanted, which is backed up by the huge number of sign-ups we have received and the numbers who attended our public meetings or spoke to us at school fairs.
Because of this level of demand we have decided to open with a 4 form-entry roll of 120 children in the first year which also means we need to continue to get sign-ups! The higher the number of registrations we have from committed parents, the better our bid becomes so please continue to campaign amongst other parents to ensure this message is clearly understood.
You can download a copy of our latest newsletter here: HVFS Newsletter December 2013
We are currently working on the application for the school that we will submit to the DfE during the first week of January 2014. In order to make this application the best it can be we are looking to expand our expertise in a number of areas:
Finance and Accounting, both general and more education based.
Legal especially company law or company secretary experience.
Proof reading/report writing
We are looking for people now during the application phase which may be a relatively short commitment. Once we are approved we will need to form an interim governing body and that will be much longer term. All offers are very welcome!
We hosted our first public meeting on the 24th of September. It was well attended and following a short presentation the Q+A session went on for over an hour. We fielded questions on many topics including location, facilities, proposed curriculum, pupil numbers, school lunches, out of hours provision, our proposed extended day amongst many others. If you would like to see the team in person please come along! Monday 7th October or Wednesday 16th October at 8pm in the Old Woking Community Centre. We look forward to meeting you and answering your questions.
We will be holding a series of open meetings to inform the community of our proposal for a new secondary school in the south woking area, to share our vision and to explain what our next steps will be.
If you would like to meet the team, see their presentation and ask questions please come along!
The meetings will be from 8 – 9:30pm at the Old Woking Community Centre, Sundridge Road, Kingfield on the following dates:
Tuesday 24th September
Monday 7th October
Wednesday 16th October
(Please note, these dates have changed since the original post)
To download the poster please click here: HVFS Public Meetings Poster
If you would like more information please email the team on email@example.com
It is hugely important that we have an active parent supporter group who can get involved and help us make our school happen. If your child is currently in year 3 or 4 and you would like to hear more please do get in touch. One of the team would be very happy to arrange a call or a meeting so we can answer your questions and address your concerns whilst sharing our ethos and vision for the school.
We are also looking to expand the core team and so if you would like to get involved we would love to hear from you. We are looking for people with school governance experience, school finance knowledge and educational expertise. It would also be very useful if there are any lawyers out there who can help us with advice and with the setting up of the charitable trust.
To get in touch please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org