Torch Academy Gateway Trust, any experience?(8 Posts)
This organisation intends to establish a free school in my area, opening in 2014. Apparently 'our group includes a large secondary school rated 'outstanding'... and a sponsored secondary school transformed under our leadership, and now one of the most improved schools nationally at GCSE.'
Just curious really, dd is some way from requiring secondary education.
Ok, the now outstanding school is Toot Hill, Bingham and the improving school is The Meden in Warsop, north Notts.
These were badly performing schools they've improved. The Free School is being promoted as very academic and will be close to, possibly in the same catchment as two of the best secondaries in Nottinghamshire. It would surprise me if they could really achieve a significantly better performance than those two schools, though their curriculum will be a bit different. It seems a lot of effort to go for a marginal difference and I do wonder why they are doing this.
They haven't secured a site yet though and if this was on he other side of the river, meters away from the top schools' catchment, they'd be in a catchment with a far less well performing school.
Any inside knowledge, ideas about what they're trying to achieve, or experience of companies previously involved in academies establishing free schools?
They are doing this as is 2015 there will be far more children wanting a place at The West Bridgford School than is the norm. This is an already heavily oversubscribed school but in 2015 a "bubble" year will apply, most of whom are in catchment and that bubble will be followed by another in 2017, after which time the bubble becomes the norm and there will be too many children full stop. Living in catchment will make zero difference and I fully expect the LA will have moved us to a lottery system instead.
WB School, according to the Evening Post, is trying to get funding for 3 additional classrooms to tackle some of this but it seems a little too late. My DD forms part of the 2015 bubble that is on its way so I am watching developments with interest...
I'd go along to one of the consultations if I were you. The fact your child is some way off makes me think you haven't experienced any difficulty getting into an infant / junior school in WB? I'm someone who did and it's an horrific experience, particularly when you think that the developers want to start on Sharphill and there is no secondary provision there....
I think the site they have in mind is the recently closed Kings School on the other side of the Trent, hence the caginess about the location.
Good luck to them - but not to the detriment of the existing two secondaries please.
www.mumsnet.com/Talk/secondary/1583324-Greenwich-Free-School sounds promising! Have no experience of free schools but, for my family, this would be a good outcome.
Very interesting baffledmum, thanks.
Dd is not yet a year old, so no experience of trying to get into anything yet! We had a leaflet through the door and I wondered what it was all about, knowing very little about the population dynamics.
We moved shortly pre-dd into the WB School catchment, with the idea that the house could work for the next 20+ years, for various reasons including schools. I will be miffed if that changes, though I know there's no guarantee. By 2023 though, it should all have settled down, one way or another, or moved onto the next thing.
I'm partly just really curious about what the aim is; to attract motivated parents from the WB / Rushcliffe catchments in an effort to add value (hard work for small gain, because of the standard of the existing schools, I'd have thought) or to improve standards for the Meadows, which, given the company's record, might be very feasible. I should probably read the Evening Post more often!
Out of interest which infant school catchment are you in? We are Jesse Gray, live within 8 minutes walk of the school and did not, initially, get a place for DD1. You should read the admissions info very carefully. You get to give a preference but you do not have a final choice. The LA offered my friend a taxi to Cotgrave each day to get her DS to school. Anywhere within 2 or 3 miles walking distance of your home is a possibility.
Hi, hadn't seen this, sorry. WB Infants. I've read the latest from the council about which schools they can extend and where they might build a new one. WB can't be extended of course. What I don't know is, when they are limiting applications within the catchment, whether they measure distance from the school or the centre of the, very unevenly shaped, catchment. Either way we are not the closest, not the furthest away. Fingers crossed!
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