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FAQs

What is a Free School?

A Free School is an independent, state-funded school. Free Schools are similar to Academies, in that they are funded by government but not controlled by it, and just like other schools, Free Schools are regulated and inspected by Ofsted, with their exam results published in league tables.

Can free schools generate profit?

No. Whilst free schools can find additional sources of funding beyond their core funding, this must feed back into the running of the school. All free schools must be run by non-profit making academy trusts, like The Kemnal Academies Trust, which are exempt charities.

Who is paying to build the school?

The cost of building and fitting out the school will be met by the Central Government, not by Cleeve Park School or by TKAT.

Do we need a special school on this site?

The local authority, London Borough of Bexley, have identified a shortage of places for children with moderate learning difficulties in the area. The Department for Education invited interested parties to apply to open a new special free school. The Kemnal Academies Trust (TKAT) were the successful applicants.  

What does moderate learning difficulties mean?

The general level of academic attainment of these children will be lower than that of their peers.  Pupils at the school may also have associated additional needs including autism, speech & communication difficulties and sensory impairments. 

When will the school open?

We are aiming to open in September 2019. This will mean children in Year 6 during the academic year 2018/19 will be eligible for the first cohort. At full capacity the school will have 120 pupils with Education Healthcare Plans (EHCP) aged between 11 and 19 years.

Where will Cleeve Meadow School be located?

Cleeve Meadow School will be co-located on the same site as the existing Cleeve Park School.  Although the schools will be separate they will be able to share the new state of the art facilities being built into the new school as well as the existing facilities at Cleeve Park School.  

How will Cleeve Park and Cleeve Meadow Schools work together?

Cleeve Meadow Free School will be particularly distinctive from existing local special schools as it will work in partnership with its co-located mainstream school, Cleeve Park, wherever possible to maximise inclusivity of SEN pupils to mainstream education and providing access to mainstream teaching and shared facilities. For example, learning experiences will be enhanced through opportunities and enrichment activities in the expressive arts in a purpose built Expressive Arts facilities, delivered in collaboration with Cleeve Park School staff and students. Co-location with a mainstream secondary school is key to the success of the school; allowing a unique opportunity for pupils to flexibly access mainstream and specialist teaching.

How can my child get a place at Cleeve Meadow School?

Pupils will have an Education & Health Care Plan for moderate learning difficulties that may have associated additional needs including autism, speech, language & communication difficulties, associated social and emotional difficulties and sensory impairments. 

A request to the pupil’s local authority for a place at Cleeve Meadow School can be made following the annual review procedure in Year 5 (or from the pupil’s secondary school if it is not the expected time of transition). Full details of the LA admissions process is outlined on their website.  

All prospective parents are encouraged to visit the school at one of the open mornings which will be held in the lead up to the school opening.

Being brand new, how will I as potential parent assess how good the school will be?

No new school has a track record it can call upon, however it will be set up and run by staff and governors from Cleeve Park School and Marlborough School (a local special school).

When will you appoint the teachers for the school?

We plan to appoint most teachers in the Spring term before opening, although a few may be appointed earlier. Linda Lee, who is currently the Headteacher at Marlborough School has already been appointed as the Executive Headteacher of Cleeve Meadow School, together with the Executive Headteacher at Cleeve Park School, Jenni Tyler-Maher, they will lead the recruitment process.

Staff will be recruited progressively until the school reaches its full capacity.

Will Cleeve Meadow School have its own Local Governing Body?

Yes. The school's Local Governing Body will be made up of individuals with expertise in special school governance, parent representatives and staff representatives.

How will I be kept up to date on the progress being made with the new school?

This website will be kept up to date with progress being made on the plans for the new free school.  

How can I give my views on Cleeve Meadow School?

If you would like to contact us our email address is: cleevemeadowenquiries@tkat.org