Location of permanent site announced!

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Derby Cathedral School, which was given the green light by the Department for Education to progress to the ‘pre-opening’ stage last year, has announced that the Education and Skills Funding Agency has secured their permanent site, having acquired the western half of the former Friar Gate Goods Yard site.

Derby Cathedral School will open in September 2018 in temporary accommodation at Midland House (Nelson Street, Derby), before moving to brand new state-of-the-art facilities located at the Friar Gate Goods Yard site. The development and construction of the permanent site and buildings are expected to take three years.

Dean of the Cathedral, The Revd Canon Dr Stephen Hance says:

“Derby Cathedral School is opening in response to local support for our proposals to provide high-quality education provision within a nurturing Church of England environment and to help meet the need for more Secondary School places.

We are delighted that we can now announce where the permanent site for the school will be. Friar Gate Goods Yard was our preferred location from the very beginning of the process due to its central location within close proximity to the Cathedral, and its need for development to enhance the infrastructure of the City”.

David Channon, Director of Education for the Diocese of Derby and CEO of Derby Diocesan Academy Trust (DDAT) says:

“Following this significant milestone, the Trust and Project Team are working hard to develop plans for the refurbishment of the temporary site, appoint a full complement of staff for the first year, and finalise the education plans and policies which are being refined by our Headteacher Designate, Mr. Gordon Inglis. We are also continuing to work in very close partnership with Derby City Council in developing this exciting new school for the children and young people in Derby ”.

Admissions for Derby Cathedral School remain open and can be made via the school website.

Although applications will be managed outside the Local Authority coordinated admissions process in the first year, the Cathedral School team are working extremely closely with the relevant departments of Derby City Council. Applications are invited from those of all faiths and none.

Plans for the development of the 9-acre site secured are currently being progressed and will be shared with the community as soon as possible. Meanwhile, refurbishment works on Midland House (the school’s temporary site) will begin in the Spring Term 2018 to ensure that the building can meet the needs of a new Church of England secondary school opening in September 2018.

Announcement for prospective parents

Many thanks to all who joined us at last night’s ‘Meet the Headteacher’ event. It was fantastic to meet so many of you and we were delighted with the positive response to our Headteacher Designate Gordon Inglis‘ talk and the number of families keen to secure a Year 7 place for their child at Derby Cathedral School for 2018. We will be sharing the answers to questions asked at the event on the FAQs page of our website shortly.

We were pleased to announce at the event that the application deadline has been extended to 31st December 2017, to coincide with the expected announcement of the permanent site for the school. Gordon will now be joining Derby Cathedral School as Headteacher Designate in December and there will be further opportunities to meet Gordon prior to the application deadline.

Negotiations between the Department for Education and the vendors are ongoing, and it is anticipated that contracts will be exchanged in December 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.

In the meantime, we will be working to prepare the school for opening at its temporary site at Midland House in Nelson Street, DE1 2SA in September 2018. It is expected that we will move to brand new state-of-the-art buildings in September 2020.

Your application for Derby Cathedral School will be a risk-free choice for 2018 as applications are made IN ADDITION to the usual Local Authority process. An application to Derby Cathedral School will be considered entirely separately and will not affect any other school applications you make via the LA.

You may be offered two places on 1st March 2018, one from your three LA choices and an additional offer from Derby Cathedral School. You can then decide which offer to accept.

Please complete your application for a Year 7 place at Derby Cathedral School before 31st December 2017.

Meet the Headteacher on Wednesday 18th October

Families with children starting secondary school next September are invited to meet our recently appointed Headteacher Designate, Gordon Inglis, at our upcoming event.

The ‘Meet the Headteacher’ event will take place on Wednesday 18th October from 6.00pm – 7.00pm at Derby Cathedral, 18-19 Iron Gate, Derby DE1 3GP.

We would be grateful if you could email any questions you may have about our plans for Derby Cathedral School ahead of the event to ensure that Gordon covers the answers to the most frequently asked questions with everyone on the day.

There will be further opportunities to meet Gordon when he starts full time in January.

Make your ‘risk-free’ application by 31st October

Inspirational Headteacher and Chair of Governors appointed!

Gordon Inglis
Headteacher Designate
Brian Walker MBE Chair of Governors

Derby Cathedral School is excited to announce the appointment of its Headteacher and Chair of Governors.

Gordon Inglis will be joining Derby Cathedral School as Headteacher Designate in January 2018 to prepare the school for opening at its temporary site at Midland House in September 2018. He leaves the highly regarded ‘The Bolsover School’ where he has successfully led the school for over ten years. Ofsted praised his leadership at the school, and in particular for engendering a strong set of values through the school where equality, tolerance and understanding lie at the heart of the curriculum.

“I have spent nearly 30 years in education, twelve as Headteacher. I am thrilled to be given this opportunity to share my knowledge and experience to help establish the Derby Cathedral School. I am eager to drive the curriculum development and instil our Christian ethos, and to work with Cathedral and Diocesan Trust colleagues to put everything in place for next autumn, including recruiting a team of equally excited and impassioned staff to make the school a success from day one.

“Choosing a child’s secondary school is one of the most important decisions that parents will make. Derby Cathedral School will have the advantage of being part of a wider Diocesan and academy trust (DDAT) family. I very much look forward to meeting parents and prospective students very soon to share my vision for Derby Cathedral School.”

Families with children due to start secondary school next September will have the opportunity to meet Gordon at Open Events currently being organised to take place prior to the admissions deadline on 31st October 2017. Details of the open events will be widely publicised on the school’s website and through Facebook. Parents are also encouraged to sign up to the school’s newsletter.

We are also delighted to announce the appointment of Mr Brian Walker MBE as the Chair of Governors of Derby Cathedral School.

Brian has been the Headteacher of West Park School (Spondon, Derby) for 20 years and is wholly committed to improving educational performance across the city of Derby. West Park School is a high-performing mathematics and computing academy and is recognised as one of the best schools in the Country. West Park School was acknowledged in March 2017 by Nick Gibb MP as being within the top 5% of schools nationally in terms of the progress made by pupils, using the Progress 8 measure. In addition, the Real Schools Guide 2017 announced West Park as being the ‘best school in Derbyshire’.

Brian is a National Leader in Education and has recently been awarded an MBE for services to Education. His knowledge of the local, regional and national education landscape will provide Derby Cathedral School with firm foundations.

Applications for a Year 7 place at Derby Cathedral School for September 2018 are now being accepted. In the first year, Derby Cathedral School will process applications outside the normal local authority process for coordinating school offers. This means parents will need to complete their LA common application form for other choices of school in addition to the online application for Derby Cathedral School. An application to Derby Cathedral School will be considered entirely separately and will not affect any other school applications made via the LA. It is, in effect, an additional choice of school.

The closing date for applications is 31st October 2017. Those offered a place at Derby Cathedral School will receive two offers from the LA on 1st March: one from their three LA choices and an additional offer from Derby Cathedral School. They can then decide which offer to accept.

Apply for a Year 7 place – a ‘risk-free’ choice for 2018

Sign up to receive details of upcoming Open Events

Year 7 admissions for 2018 open on 14th September

Derby Cathedral School is on schedule to open in September 2018 with six Year 7 classes (180 places) and admissions will open on 14th September. We will be organising open events this autumn, ahead of the Year 7 application deadline of 31st October.

In our first year of operation, we will sit outside the Local Authority coordinated admissions process although we will be working closely with colleagues at the LA.

In essence, an application to Derby Cathedral School is a risk-free choice for 2018 as applications are made in addition to the usual Local Authority process. This gives parents/carers a chance they may be offered two places, one from Derby Cathedral School and one through the Local Authority.

Read more about Year 7 admission arrangements for 2018

Follow Derby Cathedral School on Facebook and Twitter.

On schedule to open at Midland House next September

Derby Cathedral School, the City’s first Church of England co-educational 11-19 secondary school is on track to open in September 2018.

The school will have a curriculum specialism in Music and Mathematics and is being established by Derby Diocesan Academy Trust (DDAT) and Derby Cathedral to help meet the need for additional high-quality secondary places in the Derby area and to give local families more choice.

The school will open with up to 180 Year 7 places in temporary accommodation in central Derby at Midland House in Nelson Street, DE1 2SA, whilst the brand new state-of-the-art facilities are being developed on a 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.

David Channon, CEO of Derby Diocesan Academy Trust, commented:
“We are making excellent progress and our search for an exceptional and inspirational leader is already under way. Discussions with the City Council and Education & Skills Funding Agency are continuing positively to identify a permanent site in and around the City Centre. Strong links will be forged with the family of schools across Derby and our state-of-the-art facilities will be shared with the community.

Consultation for Derby Cathedral School runs until Monday 24th July 2017 and drop-in Consultation Events will be held on Tuesday 27th June from 1.00pm – 3.00pm and Wednesday 5th July 6.30pm – 8.30pm at Derby Cathedral, Iron Gate, Derby DE1 3GP. More information about the consultation can be found at www.derbycathedralschool.org.uk/consultation.

The Rev Dr Elizabeth Thomson, Canon Missioner at Derby Cathedral, commented: “This consultation gives us the chance to continue to seek the views of prospective parents, students and stakeholders, giving them the opportunity to help shape the secondary school so that it meets the needs of the Derby community. I look forward to working with members of the local community to further develop our plans for this exciting new school which will deliver a first-rate education, ensuring that pupils reach their maximum potential and access world-class jobs in our vibrant City. 

Follow Derby Cathedral School on Facebook and Twitter.

Excellent progress continues to be made

Solid progress continues to be made on a number of fronts at Derby Cathedral School, and we are pleased to share with you a brief update on the latest developments.

The Project Steering Group has been working with the Department for Education (DfE), the Education Funding Agency (EFA) and Derby City Council to ensure that we are on track at this stage of the project phase. The focus of our work has of course been on identifying the best site for Derby Cathedral School, with consideration to location, access, size and overall feasibility. Being a city centre location, this has not been an easy task but we have been able to focus on a shortlist of options from a long list on which the EFA have been carrying out technical and financial assessments.

We are unable to share details at this stage as the EFA stipulates that the details of potential locations must be kept confidential until a site has been secured, but rest assured that we are working hard towards achieving this as soon as possible. Once the site has been secured and once the time needed for obtaining planning permission and completing any necessary building works or refurbishment has been assessed, we will be in a position to share details of the proposed location and also the proposed opening date of Derby Cathedral School.

The Project Steering Group has been undertaking the workstreams as required by the DfE, and we are pleased to report that we are on course with no issues to date. We are currently developing concepts around the curriculum, the school’s branding and policies, and over the coming weeks, we will start to consider plans for headteacher recruitment and consultation with the communities that Derby Cathedral School will serve.

We will share all of this with you as soon as we possibly can and following the appropriate decision protocols. In the meantime, we really value your ongoing support and hope that you continue to be as excited as we are about working towards opening Derby Cathedral School.

Thank you.

Derby Cathedral School Team

Follow @DerbyCathedralSchool on Facebook

Progress update

Since receiving the green light from the Department for Education (DfE) to enter the ‘pre-opening’ phase, we have been able to progress our plans to make our vision for Derby Cathedral School a reality.

We have attended our first meeting with the DfE and a highly experienced project management team has formally been appointed to guide the school towards a successful opening. One of the first key tasks is for the Education Funding Agency (EFA) to secure a site that is suitable for the creation of a high-quality learning environment facilitating a first-rate education to our students.

Derby Cathedral School is being established by the Derby Diocesan Academy Trust and Derby Cathedral to help meet the need for secondary school places in the area and also to provide families with more choice. As such, we had originally hoped that a September 2017 opening date would be viable.

Since submitting our application, the DfE has reviewed its policy on confirming the provisional opening date for a free school. In previous application rounds, a provisional opening date was confirmed upon approval to enter the pre-opening phase. However, the DfE will now only agree this once a suitable site has been secured.

As negotiations around securing a site are commercially sensitive, the EFA stipulates that the details of potential sites must be kept confidential until a site has been confirmed and once they have assessed the time needed for obtaining planning permission and completing necessary building works or refurbishment. We will share details of the proposed location of Derby Cathedral School as soon as we are able.

We understand that this will be a disappointment to those of you with children starting secondary school next autumn, but this change in DfE policy will enable parents of prospective students applying for a place at a proposed new free school to have confidence in its opening date.

We would like to thank you all for your tremendous support and to reassure you that we are continuing to make progress on the non-site related elements of the project.

We will keep you informed of our progress through our website and on the Derby Cathedral School Facebook page.

Derby Cathedral School Team


Derby Cathedral and Derby Diocesan Academy Trust (DDAT) are delighted to announce that the Secretary of State for Education has decided that our application to establish Derby Cathedral School should proceed to the next stage of the free schools process – the pre-opening phase.  This is a significant step towards opening our school and we wish to thank everyone who supported and helped create the vision to establish this important school.

Derby Cathedral School is proposed to be the first Church of England Secondary School within the Diocese of Derby. Dean of Derby Cathedral, The Very Reverend Dr John Davies, said:

“I am thrilled that the Department for Education has recognised the need for a new secondary school, committed to raising aspirations and opportunities, serving the families of Derby. We now have the opportunity to work with parents and the community to develop an outstanding school that will equip students with skills and qualifications that will enable them to access high-quality careers in and around the City. I can’t wait to start work with my colleagues and our partners to make this great vision become a reality.”

Bishop Alastair Redfern, Chair of Derby Diocesan Academy Trust commented:

“This is tremendous news for everyone, and I know so many parents and supporters have been waiting with baited breath on the outcome of the DfE decision. We have been overwhelmed with the levels of support and encouragement that we have had for this proposed school, from councillors to MPs, from local schools to the Cathedral congregation and critically from the communities in and around Derby.”

The Trust will start planning its pre-opening programme, including further consultations and events in Derby, leading up to the opening of the school. One of the first tasks will be to determine the site for the school working closely with the Education Funding Agency, and once identified a proposed opening date for the new school will be announced. The Trust will share its programme as soon as it is developed and agreed with the Department for Education.

If you have not yet registered your interest and would like to be kept updated with the school’s progress, please complete the short form.

We’re waiting for the news…

Just before the Summer Break, the Derby Cathedral School Team were invited to attend an interview with the Department for Education (DfE).

We are currently awaiting the decision of the DfE as to whether the school can move ahead to the pre-opening stage of development whereby a number of important activities will begin.

We hope to hear very soon and will share any news with you as soon as we do hear! Thank you for your ongoing support which is much appreciated.