Consultation launched over free school proposal for North East Sector


A proposed school to serve the North East Sector of Crawley has been named The Gatwick School.

The school – initially known as Crawley Free School – was one of 102 free schools approved by the Department for Education earlier this year and is scheduled to open in September 2014.

A consultation into the proposal will run until October 2 and trustees have organised two drop-in events to help people learn more about the school. The first will be held on Thursday September 12 from 1.30-3.30pm at Three Bridges Community Centre, in Gales Place.

The second will be held on Wednesday September 25 from 6-9pm at Northgate Community Centre, in Barnfield Road.

Free schools are not regulated by the local authorities but decide their own curriculum and timetable.

The Gatwick School - for children aged 4-16 - will be operated by the Crawley Free School Trust which is led by two educational organisations - Mosaica Education and Place Group. Subject to planning permission, the school will be based at 23 Gatwick Road

Trustee Dr Dawn Eidelman said: “Our school will help meet the growing demand for primary and secondary school places in the area and will offer a high-quality education for children of all backgrounds and abilities.

“We want to hear what people would like from their new school and we want their input and support to make the school a real success.

“Parent involvement and community outreach will be foundational pillars to make The Gatwick School a source of deep pride to all who are a part of it.”

The Gatwick School will be Crawley’s second Free School.

The first, Discovery New School, opened in September 2011 and was put into special measures this year after Ofsted inspectors criticised leadership and teaching.

Tim McCarthy, chief executive at Aurora Academies Trust (part of Mosaica Education UK) highlighted recent success at King Offa Academy in Bexhill-on-Sea, which had been in special measures before the Trust took over the running. Ofsted inspectors have since judged it to be making “reasonable progress”.

He said: “We have got a track record of success and we understand the Ofsted criteria and we can reassure people that we know what we’re doing and hope to bring an outstanding school to Crawley.”