A little while ago I blogged my support for the bid to create a new free School in Didsbury. I know free schools have had a mixed reception, but there is some evidence that run well free schools can be an excellent asset to the community.
I have high hopes for Didsbury CE Free School, for a start it’ll be run by the team who run the massively successful and horribly oversubscribed Didsbury CofE (also known locally as Elm Grove).
In 2013 Didsbury CofE had 180 applications for just 30 places in their reception class. What we do know about the new school is that it will be two-form entry which will massively alleviate pressure on all the schools in Didsbury.
Didsbury CofE has been a part of Didsbury for 400 years and generations of my family attended the school, some of their names are on a memorial plaque dedicated to former pupils who died in WW1. It is an integral part of the community and a place that means a lot to me.
Not everyone wants their child to go to a church school, but some do, in fact there are quite a lot of us who do want our children to go to a church school and that’s our choice. It’s not that they’ll get the bible rammed down their throats, because I’m pretty sure that’s not what’s going to happen. What I am pretty sure about is that my son, should he be lucky enough to go to our local CofE school, will be taught to be polite, considerate and mindful of the world around him. Yes of course he gets that at home, but to me manners and respect are everything.
As for religion and religious education, they state that the school is open to, and welcomes children and families of all faiths and none, with their intake reflecting the religious and cultural demographic of the surrounding area. Which is as it should be.
I’m excited about the new school, I’m excited about the possibilities it’ll bring to Didsbury and the difference it will make within the community. It’s just exciting.
Apparently the bid for the school received the most amount of positive support for a new free school in the country, they don’t know where it’ll be located yet, the Department for Education will decide that, but it will be in Didsbury and it will be for me at least, an exciting and positive step forward for families like mine.
The school will open in September 2015.
You can find out more about the school and its ethos on their website and by following the Free School on Facebook and Twitter for updates and further information.