What is a Free School?
Free Schools are state-funded schools which operate independently of the Local Authority. They have the same legal status as academies. Free schools can only be set up and run on a not-for-profit basis by charitable trusts, such as a multi-academy trust.
Why is Endeavour MAT proposing to open a secondary free school in Dartford?
Estimates of the number of pupils at secondary level across the area show that new schools are required to meet the basic need. Kent County Council have recognised this need is very pressing in the Dartford area and working with the DfE invited Trusts to apply to open a new school at the Stone Lodge site to meet that need.
Endeavour MAT was delighted to be the Trust selected to open this school. The Trust already runs two heavily oversubscribed Grammar Schools in Wilmington and is pleased to be able to offer this expertise to the non-selective sector.
What will it be called?
The school will be called Stone Lodge School, in recognition of the former Stone Lodge Farm that existed on the site.
How many pupils will the school have and what age group will it cover?
It is anticipated that it will open with four forms of entry (i.e. 120 pupil places) beginning with 11 year olds (year 7). However, as it becomes established it will provide for 180 pupils in each year for 11 to 16 year olds and will offer a sixth form.
When will the school open?
We are planning to open in September 2019 in temporary accommodation. This will be confirmed by the DfE once a suitable temporary site has been secured. The opening date for the newly built school will be September 2020.
What will the curriculum be like?
The school will deliver a balanced academic curriculum with an emphasis on STEM subject and enterprise skills. The school will work closely with industry partners to ensure our subject offer ties in with the demands of key employers. The curriculum will be tailored to reflect the characteristics of the students who are expected to attend and will contain opportunities to specialise in Engineering and in Public Service.
How will the school ensure high standards of behaviour and personal development amongst the pupils?
All Endeavour MAT schools have a strong emphasis on personal conduct and self-reliance. The Schools within the Trust have their own identities but share the common values of respect, integrity, community spirit and a mind-set of entrepreneurship, innovation and resilience. This creates an atmosphere where students can explore their strengths and develop their passions.
How will I be able to keep up to date with pre-opening progress?
Our website and social media will be updated as new information is available. You can also join our mailing list to receive email updates.
How can I apply for my child to join the school?
As soon as the open date is confirmed, parents and guardians will be able to apply directly to the Trust. Details will be posted on our Admissions page once this is possible.
Will there be a school uniform?
The school will have its own charcoal grey uniform with orange piping. In line with Trust policy, students will expect to attend school wearing a smart outfit, which has been designed with cost, appearance and a corporate message in mind.
How will the school be held to account?
The school will be run by a Headteacher, supported by a leadership team and managed by the Trust’s CEO. This will ensure that the characteristics of the Wilmington Grammar Schools which are popular with parents and pupils are reproduced in Stone Lodge School.
In the first year of opening Stone Lodge School will be directly overseen by Endeavour MAT Board of Trustees. Thereafter it will have its own Local Governing Body to both challenge and support the senior staff within the school.
Before the school is given final approval to open, it will need to go through a readiness to open process with the DfE. This will include inspection by Ofsted. Once operational, as with all schools, it will be subject to the normal Ofsted inspection process.