Among the many new free schools due to open this September one that looks particularly promising is the Jane Austen College in Norwich. It will be part of the Inspiration Trust – which already runs a number of successful schools in and around Norwich. The school will combine a longer school day – finishing at 5pm – but not setting homework.

Its ethos will be to “develop and provide a challenging, innovative and wide curriculum that will build independence, character, resilience, leadership skills and a love of learning.

It adds:

We will create a culture that is relentlessly focused on promoting excellence and supporting our students in achieving their academic potential and aspiring to go to university.

We will emphasise traditional values and create an ethos of mutual trust and respect.

 The Governing Body includes Dame Rachel de Souza.

Some attack academies and free schools on the grounds that if schools are not under the remit of council bureucrats then they are cut off from the wider community. If anything this tends to be the opposite of the truth.

The Inspiration Trust position is clear:

Inspiration Schools are committed to being an integral part of the Norfolk communities we serve and are always keen to explore ways of how we can work more closely with our neighbours to provide a range of diverse and integrated services for our children and their families.


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