Vote of confidence for Hoole's new academy school


Staff reporter

A SCHOOL due to open next year has celebrated the enrolment of its first pupils.

St Martin’s Academy in Hoole doesn’t open its doors until September 2013 but the team behind the free school are delighted by the early vote of confidence.

A reception class of 25 youngsters are due to join up when the school opens.

Delamere Primary Academy head teacher Steve Docking and Ofsted inspector Iain Colledge, who is director of a business dedicated to international school start-ups and development, will run the free school through their not-for-profit company North West Academies (NWA).

Mr Docking said: “We see this as a major milestone for St Martin’s and we have been thrilled by the number of enquiries we’ve received from parents in the local area. We now look forward to watching our school family grow and grow. “There’s been a huge level of interest, which has reinforced our belief that there is a very real demand for more primary school provision in Chester.”

St Martin’s Academy is one of two free schools due to open next year.

The University Cathedral Free School, based in Abbey Square, also plans to start with a reception class.

Mr Docking, who claims St Martin’s will cater for the ‘modern family’ with on-site childcare from 8am to 6pm, is awaiting confirmation the school has secured an historic building in Hoole.

“We are expecting to celebrate this as our next milestone in the next couple of weeks,” he added.

“For parents to be on board with us so early on is, I hope, a reflection of us providing them with a clear message about what we are trying to achieve. We recognise that all too often families don’t get their first, second and even third choice of preferred school.

“At St Martin’s we want them to feel involved in their child’s education and give them the confidence that they are receiving the best possible start to school life.”

St Martin’s pupils will initially follow the Early Years Foundation Stages (EYFS) before studying the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP), popular across Europe.

An open evening is due to take place in October.

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See full story in the Chester Leader

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