The Turing House School is a proposed Free School that is seeking funding to create a new secondary school. Their preferred site is Building 2 at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), which overlooks the NPL Sports Ground in Teddington.
Representatives of the Turing House Steering Group were at the Department for Education today, to be interviewed about their free school proposal.
Local parents Beverley Sanders and Janet Hilton were joined by Karen Lynch and Colin Mackinlay from the Russell Education Trust, for the 90 minute discussion with DfE officials.
The interview forms part of the assessment process for the group’s detailed plan for an 11-18 Secondary School, to serve the Middlesex side of Richmond Borough from 2014, and an approval decision is anticipated in May.
Janet, who is Chair of Governors at a large local primary school, and parent Governor at a Community Secondary, opened the group’s presentation by describing why she became involved in the Steering Group:
“Our area needs a new community school to cope with rising numbers of children leaving the primary system over the next few years. As local parents, with strong community and education links, we knew what that school should look like, and decided to take the initiative rather than waiting for external free school providers to fill the void.
Over the last 18 months we’ve worked successfully with RET to shape that vision, and have created a proposal that is strongly supported by parents and the Local Authority".
Summing up the group’s introduction, RET’s CEO, Karen Lynch said:
“Our Trust is very excited by the Turing House proposal and by the drive and commitment of the local steering group. Parental demand is particularly high for this school; and if approved by the Department in May, we will be bringing another good secondary school into the local area in September 2014.”
The three DfE officials on the interview panel asked a series of detailed questions, covering the group’s educational vision, evidence of demand, the capacity and capability of the steering group, and the financial model for running the school.
Responding to a question about the number of registrations of interest received from the local community, Beverley said:
“Despite already having more than 1400 children registered, we know there are lots of people out there who still haven’t heard about us yet, or don’t know the detail of our proposal. Gaining DfE approval will be the boost we need to reach out to even more families, so that the whole community knows we’ll be an additional Secondary option for September 2014.”
More details of the Turing House School proposal can be found on the group’s website at www.turinghouseschool.org.uk/,, where families can register an interest in a future place at the school, or sign up to the mailing list.
Press release – 8th March 2013