Frequently Asked Questions

Is this is a free school? Yes. Free schools are independent, state-funded schools. They have the same legal status as academies.

Will the school be able to make a profit? No. The school will be run on a not-for-profit basis by Derby Diocesan Academy Trust. The school will be run by the Headteacher and their leadership team and they will be answerable to a board of governors.

Where will Derby Cathedral School be situated? We will open in temporary accommodation at Midland House (Nelson Street, Derby DE1 2SA), whilst our brand new state-of-the-art facilities are being developed on the permanent site. Works on preparing Midland House for occupation by a secondary school will commence shortly to ensure that all the facilities required are in place to facilitate a high standard of education from day one. It is estimated that we will operate in temporary accommodation for the first two years. There will be minimal disruption for our first intake of students during the transition to the permanent site and the Governing Body will work closely with the Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to ensure uninterrupted teaching and learning. In addition, students will be actively involved in the development of the iconic and historic first Church of England secondary phase school in the Diocese of Derby, and their contribution as founding pupils will be recognised. Discussions with the City Council and the ESFA are continuing positively to identify a permanent site in and around the City Centre.

Why are you proposing to open with only Year 7 classes? Our proposed intake reflects where demand for places has been identified. When starting a new school we believe that it is really important to nurture the first year and establish the culture of the new school. Our first Year 7 classes will also be our first classes to take GCSEs and we will be able to work with them exclusively for their first year to establish solid foundations for their success.

Will the school be selective? No. Derby Cathedral School will welcome students of all abilities, of all faiths and none. All free schools have to follow the Admissions Code in the same way as all state-funded schools and our inclusive admissions policy will at all times be open, transparent and fair.

Will the school have a SEND department? Derby Cathedral School plans to appoint a full-time SENDCO to support the needs of any students who are identified as requiring support with their learning. The SENDCO will have QTS and will work with teachers and learning support staff, as well as students directly, to make sure that specific learning needs applicable to each SEND student are identified early and met. The SENDCO will ensure that detailed plans with measurable targets are in place for all students on the SEND Register. The SENDCO will be a part of the senior leadership team at the school and will, therefore, work closely with the Headteacher to ensure the curriculum at the school is accessible for all students.

Will funding the school mean there will be less money for the other provision in the area? No. Funding for the school will be equivalent to the funding of other maintained schools and academies in the local authority area. The opening of the school does not mean that the overall funding available in the area goes down. However, the total funding an individual school receives will depend on the number of pupils attending.

Will Derby Cathedral School be inspected by Ofsted? Yes. The school will be subject to inspection in the same way as other maintained schools and academies. All new schools are inspected by Ofsted before they open. The school will also be subject to a SIAMS (Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools) inspection.

Have you chosen a Headteacher for Derby Cathedral School? A search is currently underway to appoint an exceptional leader for Derby Cathedral School. The position has been advertised nationally and we will settle for nothing less than a truly outstanding candidate.

How will the school be accountable? The school will be run by a local board of governors who will be accountable to the Derby Diocesan Academy Trust, who oversee it. In addition, the school will be accountable to the Department for Education through the terms of its Funding Agreement.

How can I apply for a place? Full details of the admissions procedure will be published on our website.

How can I be kept updated with the school’s progress? Please complete the short form.