Hailing success of Free School

Thursday 18 July 2013

Bedford Free School

When Bedford College was asked by the Department for Education to project manage the Bedford Free School and see it through its first year it was regarded as its toughest challenge. 

Persuading hundreds of parents and pupils to choose a new school, with few staff appointed before opening, and no building, but a charismatic Head and a strong vision, was an exciting and often controversial journey.

But the Bedford Free School is now established in the town centre and in September will be educating nearly 400 pupils in fully-refurbished buildings.

Principal of Bedford College, and first Chair of the Free School, Ian Pryce praised the Head and Staff team for their hard work during the critical first year.

“Our project team did an exceptional job to deliver 200 pupils on day one.  The school has recruited well and lived within its budget.  The School has an excellent Head in Mark Lehain, and a really committed team of staff.  They have turned in a remarkable set of results in their first year, with pupils generally making about 2 years progress in just one year, and that applies to all groups: boys, girls, every community, those on free school meals. 

“It is a fantastic outcome so no wonder 100% of parents say they would recommend the School to others in the Ofsted survey.”

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