Youngsters spend first full day at Sidney Stringer Primary School - Coventry's newest free school
Youngsters spent their first full day at a new primary school after it opened inside a Coventry academy.
Sidney Stringer Primary School, in Hillfields, is currently running out of two classrooms at the Sidney Stringer Academy until a new site is built next door.
The new school has 55 children in two reception classes.
But it will increase by 60 children every year until it reaches a capacity of 420 in seven years.
The free school was set up to help meet demand for primary school places.
The executive principal of the Sidney Stringer Multi Academy Trust, Wendy Tomes said: “There’s a shortage of primary school places in the area.
“We are a very successful academy and what we really wanted to do was have children from the age of four.”
Building work on the new school is expected to start in November.
Mrs Tomes said: “We are delighted to be able to open a Sidney Stringer Primary school and build on all the success of the academy.
“This is a very special day for Hillfields and our ambition is to provide an outstanding education for the children in this school from day one.”
The £28 million academy was opened in 2012 after much of the old school was destroyed in a fire five years earlier.
Today it has 1,350 children, aged 11 to 18.
Emma McCann, headteacher of Sidney Stringer Primary, said: “We are looking forward to welcoming the first children who are going to shape our school and thank you to all those who have made this school possible.
“We have appointed some excellent staff who are excited about having brand new resources and facilities and being part of the Sidney Stringer Trust.”
Nick Timothy, director of New Schools Network, a charity set up to help groups open free schools, said: “It’s fantastic to see Sidney Stringer Primary open its doors for the first time this week and join more than 300 other free schools that are now open across England.
“The first free schools opened in 2011 and they are already making a huge difference to communities across the country. Free schools are more than twice as likely to be judged ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted as other state schools.”