James Brokenshire has wished staff and pupils all success as Bexley’s first free school opens its gates for the new academic year. Children will start arriving for their first reception class on Monday. Hope Community School in Rectory Lane, Foots Cray held a special community event on Saturday to mark the school’s opening.
Hope Community School is not for profit and state-funded and will and will serve the Sidcup/Foots Cray area. The school is one of the 93 new ‘free schools’ opening across England this month, more than doubling the total number open to 174 – and creating 46,000 places.
Free schools are new state schools opened by groups of parents, teachers or charities. They give parents more choice of school and ensure more children can get a good state education. Hope Community School has been led by a team from New Generation Church, Sidcup in partnership with local businesses and community organisations.
James Brokenshire has been a keen supporter of the school since plans were first put forward by Paul Weston, the Chair of Governors. James believes the school will provide new opportunities for local children to fulfil their potential and get the best start in their education.
Commenting, James said:
“I am absolutely delighted that Hope Community School has opened in Foots Cray. It has been humbling to see just how hard the team have worked to get the new school to this stage. It’s a huge achievement and they have done a fantastic job for the local community.
“There is little doubt of the pressure on primary school places in the Sidcup area. Hope gives parents the choice of a great new local state school for their children.
“The ethos and community focus behind the school’s approach is impressive. I believe this will help ensure that the school delivers high standards and excellent teaching.”
Commenting on the importance of free schools, Prime Minister David Cameron said:
“Free schools create great local schools for everyone. They are one of the most important reforms to education in this country for a generation, allowing people with a passion for giving children the best start in life to set up schools and making sure teachers in those schools have more freedom to do what they think is best.
“That means more choice for parents, more school places and a better education for our children. It is reforms like these that will help transform our country, make sure Britain competes in the world, and give everyone the chance, whatever their background, to get on in life.”
Shown in the picture are James Brokenshire with Paul Weston, Chair of Governors of Hope Community School and Lisa Morris the School’s Principal.
For more details on Hope Community School see www.hopecommunityschool.org or call 020 3223 2000.