In this section we hope to answer your commonly asked questions about Free Schools and Gildredge House in general.
What is a Free School?
Free Schools are non-profit making, independent, state-funded schools. They are not defined by size or location, there is not a single type of Free School or a single reason for setting them up.
Free Schools could be primary, secondary schools or all-through schools. They could be located in traditional school buildings or appropriate community spaces such as office buildings or church halls. They could be set up by a wide range of proposers – including charities, businesses, educational groups, visionary teachers or committed parents – who want to improve education for children in their community. They might be needed because there simply are not enough school places in a local area.
The thing which unites all Free Schools is that they are being set up in response to real demand within a local area for a greater variety of schools, they meet rigorous standards and they are all absolutely committed to providing young people with the best possible chance to succeed.
Read the New Schools Network’s latest update ‘Free Schools: the Basics’.
Like Academies, Free Schools will be funded on a comparable basis to other state-funded schools. However, Free Schools have all the freedoms over the curriculum, staffing and budget which private schools enjoy. Groups running Free Schools cannot make a profit. They will be subject to the same Ofsted inspections as all state schools and will be expected to maintain the same rigorous standards.
Will Free Schools be able to make a profit?
No. Free Schools can only be set up and owned by charities. The school will be run by the Head Teacher and their Senior Leadership Team and they will be answerable to the Board of Governors.
Are Free Schools selective?
No. Free Schools must comply with the School Admissions Code and the School Admissions Appeals Code like all state-funded schools.
How are students selected?
Gildredge House is a non-fee paying, non-selective, non-denominational, co-educational school and we welcome children from all backgrounds.
How can I apply for a place at Gildredge House?
Our latest Admissions Policy and guidance on how to apply for a place can be found in the Apply section of our website.
Will this mean less money for the other schools in the Eastbourne area?
No. Funding for Free Schools will be equivalent to the funding of maintained schools and academies in the same local authority area. The opening of a Free School does not mean that the overall funding available in an area goes down. However, the total funding an individual school receives will depend on the number of students attending.
Will Gildredge House be inspected by Ofsted?
Yes. All Free Schools are subject to inspection.
How will the school be accountable?
The school will be run by a Board of Governors which is accountable to the charitable Trust which oversees the school. In addition, the school will also be accountable to the Department for Education through the terms of its funding agreement.