NSN Blog: free school voice

On: Thu 13 January 2022

Tell us about the original idea behind your school?

On: Thu 6 January 2022

Can you tell us about the original idea behind Clearwater C of E Primary Academy?

“Our school is a ‘basic need’ free school. It came about because the local authority thought there weren’t enough places for the children in Gloucestershire. The local authority had a plot of land that was designated for a school, and then looked for tenders to open the school. The Diocese of Gloucester Academy Trust was awarded the tender to set-up Clearwater Primary Academy.”

What is unique about the school?

On: Thu 9 December 2021

Inspection timelines

Ofsted have resumed their routine inspection cycles from September 2021 and recently announced that they’ve received extra funding by the Government to expedite inspections which were delayed by the pandemic, to help reassure parents that children’s learning is getting back on track.

Understandably, schools want to know how they’ll be affected.

On: Tue 23 November 2021

Opening as a new school in the middle of the pandemic has been a challenging but incredibly rewarding time. We opened in September 2020 with Nursery and Reception, and this year have our first Year 1 class. Following huge demand from the local community for us to open other year groups, we will have Years 2 and 3 opening in September 2022.

On: Mon 18 October 2021

What first inspired you to get involved with the free schools programme?

We saw High Tech High and Expeditionary Learning schools in the USA and we couldn’t just go back to what we were doing. Students at these schools articulated their learning in a sophisticated and purposeful way. We asked ourselves whether our pupils back home could do this. The answer was, at that point, a resounding, ‘No.’

On: Mon 18 October 2021

What first inspired you to get involved with the free schools programme?

On: Mon 18 October 2021

What first inspired you to get involved with the free schools programme?

On: Mon 18 October 2021

What first inspired you to get involved with the free schools programme?

Opening a free school is such a magical prospect; the opportunity is second to none. There is a brilliant chance to create the right ethos from the start and it enables you to set the standards, expectations and culture from day one. You also have the ability to appoint new staff and attract staff of the highest calibre, with the promise of career progression.