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Application For Town's First Free School Submitted

Friday January 17 2014

We Are Barnsley We Are Barnsley

THE application to open Barnsley's first free school has been submitted to the Department of Education.

The hundreds of papers sent from the Wellspring Academy Trust by special courier will now be examined by civil servants who will make the final decision.

In the same week as the formal application, the trust has appointed an outstanding primary executive headteacher.

He will help lead the development of the proposed new school, which will be called Elements, and will be built in or on the edge of the town centre on a site yet to be chosen.

That head is Mark Wilson, who's currently responsible for more than 1,500 primary pupils as an executive head in London.

All three of his schools have been judged to be outstanding.

One of the London primary schools Mr Wilson ran was fourth in the top 100 most improved schools nationally.

Josie Thirkell, CEO of the trust, said: "Mark Wilson has a compelling vision for the education of children and young people.

"He brings to Barnsley a track record of outstanding success and innovation.

"He's totally committed to achieving world class schools and to the relentless pursuit of success.

"We're thrilled he's chosen to bring his skills and enthusiasm to Barnsley."

A final decision on whether Barnsley will get a free school and where it will be built is expected by the end of March.

If given the go ahead, it's planned the new school will open in September 2015.

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19 Showing 19 comments

Reply Posted by jasmine on Friday January 17 2014 at 16:02
I hope they are closing Doncaster Road down such a digusting school that the teaching staff are barely adequate to teach the children and then you see parents outside screaming and fighting with each other i would rather home school mine than send them there.

Reply Posted by maxine on Friday January 17 2014 at 20:24
sorry for my ignorance but what does it mean by free school? :/

Reply Posted by hiya on Sunday January 19 2014 at 15:04
A free school is one where it doesn't have any curriculum to follow.

Reply Posted by Kath on Friday January 17 2014 at 20:44
That will be the start of a 3 tier system

Reply Posted by lauren on Friday January 17 2014 at 21:11
@Maxine, free schools are funded by the government but are not run by the local council. They have more control in how they do things. They are also all ability schools so in other words they can't use academic selection like some grammar schools.

Free schools can also set their own pay and conditions for staff, change the length of school terms and the school day also they don't have to follow the national curriculum.

Free schools are run on a not-for-profit basis and can be set up by groups like: charities, universities, community and faith groups, parents and local businesses.

Hope this helps you.

Reply Posted by Fred on Saturday January 18 2014 at 11:39
Jasmine - why do you people come on here just to moan and whinge. Put your energy in to something positive, why don't you homeschool your kids if the school is so bad?

More choices in education can only be a good thing. Parents need to ensure children are given the best possible chance in life, good parenting and good education are absolutely vital.

Reply Posted by sid on Saturday January 18 2014 at 21:55
I,all be watching this with interest. It sounds exciting. Shaft on ALC is calling in a couple of years to my younger generation. We're worrying already, it sounds like the last place any one would choose for their kids. Happy there's going to be more choice.

Reply Posted by lauren on Sunday January 19 2014 at 15:32
There's a lot more too it than having no curriculum to follow. There's many elements to it as I have stated above.

Reply Posted by anon on Sunday January 19 2014 at 15:52
The school is a primary school. They must be pretty confident of approval as they are already advertising for staff for the school.

Reply Posted by Keri on Sunday January 19 2014 at 17:20
Where can I apply to work here? Anybody know where it would be built?
Sounds fab

Reply Posted by lauren on Sunday January 19 2014 at 18:31
Don't think its Bern confirmed yet but I too might apply to work sounds brilliant if I hear anything I will post on here for you. If you want.

Reply Posted by lauren on Sunday January 19 2014 at 18:32
Silly phone been

Reply Posted by anon on Monday January 20 2014 at 09:50
A lit of school fail due to the teachers now avin multi national kids in there class. In ny sons class there is more foreign kids than English kids how can any teacher teach good when half the kids can't understand English then the English kids R left to their own devises as the teachers R Spendin all the time with the foreign kids im not racist but when my kids education is sufferin because of this its starts to piss U off. My sister has to take her son n daughter to 2 different schools 2 miles apart as there wasn't a place for her daughter but they got loads of foreign kids in the school our kids shud come 1st not last

Reply Posted by anon on Monday January 20 2014 at 10:26
@jasmin my son goes to Doncaster rd school and I have to say im really pleased with his teachers. My son is very clever and bright and they are always pushing him to his best ability. I do understand that the school has just come out of special measures and is improving vastly. when im stood waitin to pick my kids up n im listening to parents moan about the school its the same parents that stand there smoking at the gates, that are swearing at each other n their kids parents almosting fighting with each other sometimes. Some of Doncaster rd parents want to look at themselves and their parenting before slating the school that is improving and getting better.

Reply Posted by lauren on Monday January 20 2014 at 10:34
Yes you certainly don't sound racist at all. If you feel this way then you as a parent should express your feeling towards your sons school headmaster/headmistress but you know if you express your feelings the way you have on here you will defiantly be classed as a racist. All schools should have multi cultural in their classes as it is a great opportunity for your children to learn about their different cultures as many parents can't afford to travel to these country's for kids to learn about. You can not say that our children should come first that's not how things work all children's education is important and you should support your local school not slate it.

Reply Posted by @lauren on Monday January 20 2014 at 10:51
What part of that is racist? its a well known fact that happens in most schools in Barnsley and that's why most schools in Barnsley are in special measures. Its a fact not an opinion

Reply Posted by lauren on Monday January 20 2014 at 12:10
Foreign kids in the school ours should come first not last. How is that not a racist comment? Doesn't matter where the children are from their education is just as important as as you say our own kids.

Reply Posted by GRIM on Monday January 20 2014 at 12:45
I wouldn't say it was racist. But definitely ignorant and ill informed.
There are many schools all over the country that cope with classes full of different languages and cultures.
What you need are teachers that are up to the challange and that are able to handle that.
Forgeign children learn english very quickly, and it is important that English children have contact with children that speak other languages. In the long run it helps their ability to leanr languages themselves.
The UK is one of the poorest performers in the world when it comes to learning forgeign languages. This in the long run will help with job prospects.

Reply Posted by lauren on Monday January 20 2014 at 14:42
My day off sweetheart is that a problem? If it is tough! I can do what I want in my spare time nothing to do with you. Plus this post is to do with my line of work so......