Free School Funding Agreement Signed
The Royal School gets go-ahead for Free School Opening
The official funding agreement between The Royal School Wolverhampton and the Department for Education has been signed today on behalf of Lord Nash, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools, thus providing a clear guarantee that the School will open as a Free School in September, 2016. Moving to a Free School brings the major investment needed to develop and extend The Royal even further while also providing much needed school places and a unique all-through educational offering for the local community at the same time retaining its unique day, boarding and international character.
On September 1, 2016, the School will transfer its staff and all assets and resources to the Royal School Wolverhampton Free School. An enhanced board of governors will take on the responsibility of leading the new school together with the Senior Leadership Team, headed by Mr Mark Heywood, as Principal. Many highly qualified and committed key staff members have joined the school as the school has already grown, with more being employed as the Royal School increases in size over the next six years. Current students and their families will continue to be part of a thriving educational community, but benefit from not paying day fees and having significantly lower boarding fees, whilst the School welcomes new students from Reception to Year 12 in September, 2016.
The School now enters the ‘Readiness to Open’ phase after first announcing its intention to become a free school in June 2014. Classrooms and other areas of the School will be refurbished over the summer to accommodate the additional primary classes. The School has just achieved an ‘Excellent’ ISI inspection, setting the scene well for becoming ‘outstanding at the next Ofsted inspection. Having achieved this resounding judgement of ‘excellence’ at a time when the School has almost doubled in number of pupils, the School is confident that the personnel, curriculum and extra-curricular provision are securely in place for an outstanding launch of the free school.
‘This is an extraordinary achievement that has taken much time and effort by a hugely talented team of people. However, it has been worth the journey and we are so excited to be opening our doors to more students….’ said Principal Mark Heywood.
He added, ‘It is our aspiration to make The Royal School part of an educational hub for the city that will benefit the entire community of Wolverhampton and work with our local and regional partners to raise expectations for the young people of the city.’
Parents were also thrilled to hear the news. “The approval is finally here; what an exciting opportunity we have for our children. It is amazing to think that the quality of both classroom education and afterschool activities that my child receives at The Royal School will be free,’ said Mrs Morelli.
The Royal School will remain an independent, Free School with day and boarding pupils and an ‘extended day’ with an exceptional range of extra-curricular activities whilst retaining its core values and beliefs. Students will be expected to maintain the same high standards of attitude to learning, behaviour and commitment to the community.
The Royal School was founded in 1850, originally as an orphanage, becoming a school shortly after in recognition of the power of education to transform young people’s lives. It is currently a fully co-educational independent day and boarding school, and will become an all-through free school for around 1500 pupils in 2022 becoming a Free School on 1 September 2016; a move which the Governing Board fully endorsed as in keeping with the original purpose of the Charity.