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