The Rationale behind our School Proposal

  • Started by an enthusiastic, creative Primary School teacher, wanting to see a vibrant and exciting primary style curriculum extended into the Secondary sphere, after primary school leavers reported back as being ‘disillusioned’, ‘disengaged’, lacking motivation and very unenthusiastic about.
  • Research showed that anyone is able to apply to the DfE for a new free school. Free schools are State funded schools, but independently controlled and run by it’s own governing body, so there is more scope for creative and far reaching curriculums, but still held to account by Ofsted inspections and standardised GCSE examinations.
  • Further research showed that the DfE only accept applications from areas in the country that it has specified as being “target” areas – with consistently low outcomes in local schools, accessible to people who are classified as living in socially deprived areas, and also they want to see new, exciting school models – different to the local offer; something that would bridge social divides in communities, raise standards across the whole locality, and where the LEA show there is a need for a new school. This is where our three proposed pillars of Enterprise, Christian Faith and Individuals stems from.
  • This research then drew us to Huntingdonshire – the only DfE “target” county within Cambridgeshire, with a very “weak” (dark blue/purple on the map) rating for achieving Excellence, married with a need for more              school places due to increased housing developments, rising birth rate in the county and increases in population (dark or mid-red on the “need” map) and also high oversubscription of local secondary schools (see table):
  • We then found that to get DfE approval, there has to be a strong proposal for a school that offers something different to local provision. We found that there is not a single C of E Secondary school in all of Huntingdonshire that is non-fee paying (so not a private school) and only one in the whole of Cambridgehire – in Cambridge city centre (St Bedes).
  • This research therefore determined where: St Ives area; what: A Christian ethos, non-fee paying school with a rich and enterprising curriculum; and how: Through Fulham Boys School.