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Church success in bid to run academy
7:50am Thursday 26th September 2013 in News
THE school due to be built as part of the Tadpole Farm developments will be run as a church school, it has been announced.
Under the plans drawn up for the project, a school was included in order to meet the surge in demand expected as new residents fill the 1,695 homes on the plot.
The Diocese of Bristol’s Academies Trust will take control of the school once it is built, and run it in partnership with a group of organisations with expertise suited to school control.
The academy is scheduled to open in September 2014, with two reception classes accommodating 60 four-year-old children, should that capacity be required.
There will be space, over time, to phase in older children, though that decision is yet to be made.
The chance to sponsor the academy was advertised by Swindon Council in May, to which the diocese replied with interest.
After an interview with the council on July 2, the diocese was unofficially declared successful by the council in August pending Department for Education ratification, which came through last week.
John Swainston, Diocesan Director of Education and CEO of the Trust, said the Trust will now meet with the architect of the building and put in their own suggestions for how they would like the inside of the school shell to look.
The Trust, which already takes care of one academy in Bristol, is being advised by neighbouring St Francis Primary School on leadership, governance, curriculum and community liaison for the new academy.
Advertisements for new staff, including a principal, will be issued in the near future.
“Church schools thrive and try to ensure that pupils, families and staff are all welcomed and supported,” said John.
“Naturally, we are delighted to have been confirmed as the academy’s sponsor and look forward to working to make it one of the best in Swindon.
“We know now what happens, when a location needs a new school.
“When we see them advertised we do apply on occasion, though on this occasion, we wanted to get involved because it bordered on our local outstanding school, St Francis.”
Rt Reverend Dr Lee Rayfield, Bishop of Swindon said: “We are committed to contributing to the formation of healthy new communities.
“And our Church schools can play a critical part in offering a rounded ministry in these developments.
“I am delighted that the Trust has won the bid.”
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