Frequently Asked Questions

Is this 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, which will be within the City Centre, DE1 postcode area and within easy walking distance of the Cathedral. In the meantime we are working to prepare Midland House for occupation by a secondary school and 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.

When will we know where the permanent site is? Negotiations between the Department for Education and the vendors are ongoing, and it is anticipated that contracts will be exchanged in December 2017 when we will be permitted to formally announce the location of the site. The site will be within the City Centre, DE1 postcode area and within easy walking distance of the Cathedral. We are very conscious that parents would like to know this information and we are working hard with the ESFA to ensure that commercial negotiations are concluded in plenty of time for the application deadline on 31st December 2017. It is recommended that interested parents make an application to Derby Cathedral School in addition to their Local Authority choices.

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.

How was the admissions policy developed? The admissions policy for Derby Cathedral School was developed using the Department for Education’s model admissions policy for new schools. Our vision for Derby Cathedral School to be open to all regardless of faith and background is reflected in the policy.

What is the catchment area for Derby Cathedral School? There is no catchment area for Derby Cathedral School. The school will be based in the centre of Derby and seeks to serve all communities within the City. Places are allocated in accordance with our admissions policy. If more than 180 applications are received, places will be allocated in line with the published oversubscription criteria and distance will only be used in the event of a tie-break whereby the place will be offered to the student living closest to the school site.

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? Yes. Gordon Inglis will be joining Derby Cathedral School as Headteacher Designate in December 2017.

How will the school be accountable? The school will be run by a local board of governors who will be accountable to 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.

What will be the structure of the School Governing Body? The Local Governing Body will have the following membership:

  • 3 governors appointed by the Cathedral Chapter
  • 3 governors appointed by DDAT
  • 2 elected parent governors (elections to take place in the Autumn Term 2018)
  • 2 elected staff governors (elections to take place in the Autumn Term 2018)
  • Headteacher

What are the timings for the school day? It is proposed that school day will begin with breakfast club starting at 08.00, followed by registration in tutor groups and a morning act of collective worship at 8.45am. Collective worship will be led by a member of school staff, the school chaplain, a member of the school Governing Body or a representative of the Cathedral. Formal learning starts at 9.00am and the core day ends at 3.30pm to be succeeded by a range of school enrichment options operating through to 5.00pm to widen the school curriculum and provide additional opportunities for skills acquisition in areas beyond the formal taught curriculum. Enrichment also offers personal development opportunities.

How can I apply for a place? Full details of the admissions procedure are published on our website. Please complete your application for a Year 7 place at Derby Cathedral School before 31st December 2017 online.

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

Derby Cathedral School Section 10 Stakeholder Engagement and Consultation Report July 2017