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Bexley's first free school set to open next year
BEXLEY'S first free school has been given the green light by the Department for Education.
The Hope Community School is set to open in September next year in the Foots Cray area, taking in 25 reception year pupils.
It will then increase its intake each year and is expected to be at full capacity by 2019 with 175 students.
The school is being taken forward by the New Generation Schools Trust - made up of more than 20 people from the New Generation Church, in Rectory Lane, Sidcup, as well as businesses and community organisations
It will be not-for-profit and state funded with a Christian ethos, but will be open to children of all faiths and those of no faith.
Paul Weston, who is part of the team behind the school, said: "Our vision is to achieve excellent outcomes for children and the local community.
"We want to open a school which is the heartbeat of the community, reaching out to local families to increase children's aspirations and maximising each child's talents.
"We intend to create an encouraging and inclusive environment, extending into the community and creating links with local businesses.
"The school’s ethos would be underpinned by the Christian values of generosity and hospitality."
The Free Schools programme was launched last year and free schools can be set up by a range of proposers, including charities, universities, businesses, educational groups, teachers and groups of parents.
Old Bexley and Sidcup MP James Brokenshire has given his support to the school.
He said: "This is an exciting new development and the ethos and community focus behind the school’s plans are impressive.
"There is little doubt of the pressure on primary school places in the Sidcup area and Hope Community School will be a welcome new addition to help ensure that local children have the best start in their education and to help fulfil their potential."
For more information about the school, visit hopecommunityschool.org or call 020 8309 6056.