James Brokenshire joined the Mayor of Bexley, Councillor Sharon Massey, Bexleyheath and Crayford MP, David Evennett, London Assembly Member James Cleverly and other civic and community leaders at the official opening ceremony for Hope Community School in Rectory Lane, Foots Cray on Monday. The Mayor cut the ribbon to mark the launch of Bexley’s first free school and a new state primary school for Sidcup.
James praised Paul Weston, New Generation Church and the rest of the team for their vision, determination and sheer resolve in turning the initial idea of a new free school into the reality of the opening of Hope Community School. James wished Hope’s Principal, Lisa Morris, and her team all success for the school’s first academic year, highlighting the new opportunities that Hope would bring for local children to fulfil their potential and get the best start in their education.
James also led a special story time in the school’s playground reading ‘Elmer and the Lost Teddy’ to the Hope’s first reception class of children.
Hope Community School is not for profit and state-funded and will serving the Sidcup/Foots Cray area. Free schools are new state schools opened by groups of parents, teachers or charities. Hope Community School has been led by a team from New Generation Church, Sidcup in partnership with local businesses and community organisations.
Commenting James said:
“It has been an absolute privilege to support the team at Hope Community School since Paul Weston, the school’s Chair of Governors, first put the idea forward. Turning that idea into the reality of today’s opening has been quite a journey.
“The sheer resolve and focus of the team has been remarkable and humbling. They have provided a huge and lasting service to the community which will benefit local children for years to come.
“It was a really special moment for me to be able to read a story from ‘Elmer the Patchwork Elephant’ to Hope’s first reception class of children as they start their school journey. I believe they will benefit from a great education at a school focussed on delivering high standards and excellent teaching underpinned by a clear ethos and supportive community focus.
“I wish Hope Community School all the very best for a long and successful future.”