A VILLAGE primary school in Dunham on the Hill has applied to become one of the country’s first independent free schools.
The Sarah Bartholomew School, Village Road – currently a privately funded primary school – has applied for state funding under the Conservative Government’s free schools scheme opening it up to all children in the area.
“A lot of people have come and told me about their children but I can’t take them because they can’t afford to pay, it’s sad,” said headteacher and founder Catherine O’Donovan.
“I would like to go up to about 30 to 40 pupils, we have a wonderful premises, a great playing field, with great sports facilities.
“We are here and raring to go to educate children in a lively, happy environment and a well equipped school with dedicated and well trained teachers.
“Here we work in groups of no more than 10 pupils.
“I have taught in state schools before I opened my own school, one year I had 39 year six pupils, you can’t speak to the ones you wanted to or who were less able.”
Catherine opened the school – formerly the Cotebrook Village Hall, Stable Lane – after becoming unhappy with the amount of paper work and excessive class sizes in the state system.
The free school funding, announced by secretary of state for education Michael Gove earlier this year, allows for schools to act independent of the local authority but funded by the state.
“We have an excellent track record for 23 years,” added Catherine. “We teach the individual.
“Every child is welcome, all religions, and we can teach children with mild learning difficulties.
“People can come and visit the school, apply for a prospectus, and apply for a place.”
For more information visit www.sabarschool.co.uk, ring 01928 722 731, or email email@example.com.