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Free school gets up and running
8:00am Sunday 16th September 2012 in News
THURROCK’s first free school opened its doors last week.
The Gateway Primary Free School in Tilbury welcomed 58 Year 6 pupils into new classrooms in the Gateway Academy’s main building.
The new pupils will move into their own £7.5million building on the school site in Marshfoot Road, in January 2014, which Balfour Beatty will build.
Chief executive officer of the Gateway Learning Community, Kevin Sadler, said: “Today is the culmination of a huge effort by many people to establish our new free school.
“I am really excited about the opportunities that the new school will bring for the young people of Tilbury as we develop a seamless learning experience, from reception to sixth form.”
Free schools are funded directly by the Government and can be set up by anyone who meets the necessary criteria.
With its link to the Gateway Academy, pupils at the new free school will have access to the expertise of secondary teachers where needed, and it is hoped any problems pupils may have with numeracy or literacy are more likely to be caught and resolved before they get to the secondary school.
The school is also set to share resources, teaching staff and best practices with neighbouring primary schools Lansdowne, in Tilbury, and Herringham in Chadwell St Mary.
Around 23 new teachers are expected to be employed, along with a headteacher.
It is hoped the new venture will create up to 80 jobs. Pupils in the new free school will also be guaranteed a secondary school place at the Gateway Academy.