Free school assured of Government backing

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A FREE school in Yorkshire which found out a week before it was set to open that it was not getting Government funding says it has been given assurances that it will be able to launch in 2013.

The One in a Million Free School had been expected to open next to Bradford City football club’s Valley Parade ground this year.

Building work had already taken place at the school but the Department for Education (DfE) refused to sign off funding at the 11th hour because only 30 pupils had signed up.

Now the One in a Million charity behind the plan says it has received a letter of support from Schools Minister Lord Hill describing the school as “aspirational and innovative” and that it would “add to the educational offer in Bradford”.

The charity says it has had more than 80 parents showing a strong expression of interest in sending their child there next September.

Jez Stockill, the school’s principal designate, said: “We are confident our school appeals to our parents because it is a small school, with small class sizes, excellent teachers, strong discipline, a commitment to literacy and numeracy with a focus on arts, enterprise and sports. We will work tirelessly with the DfE over the next 10 months to ensure that the school opening in September 2013 is the remarkable school of our vision.”