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 has Endeavour MAT opened 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.

How many pupils will the school have and what age group does it cover?

Stone Lodge School has opened 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.

How can I apply for my child to join the school?

Admissions to Year 7 for Stone Lodge School are co-ordinated by Kent County Council (KCC). Information regarding admission to Kent schools is found here.

Further details of our Admissions criteria and process can be found on our website here

How is the school ensuring 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 the school be held to account?

The school is run by Head Teacher Mr Gavin Barnett, who is supported by a leadership team and managed by the Trust’s CEO. This ensures 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.