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  1. Christine Alsford

'Save our school' the plea from parents & staff at the free school threatened with closure

A failing - free school - which faces closure may win a reprieve. School governors from the Discovery New School in Crawley spent the afternoon meeting with government officials.

The school's representatives were trying to convince the education official that the school, which opened in September 2011, hasn't been given enough time to turn things around. Christine Alsford reports.


'It's heartbreaking to watch children go to other schools'

One of the parents fighting to save a free school in Sussex that is threatened with closure says she is struggling to find a suitable alternative school for her daughter Molly.

The Discovery New School in Crawley, which opened in September 2011, is due to be shut down in April over concerns about its standard of education.

The planned closure is a major blow for the Government's free schools initiative. Parents have delivered a petition to Downing Street to save the school.

One mother, Suzanne Cass, says it's heartbreaking to watch children leaving and going to new schools, and that the Discovery New School should be given more time.

She is hoping that the school will be reprieved today, and made an impassioned plea to save the school ahead of a high level meeting that is being held with Government education officials later today.

Crunch meeting over future of Discovery free school

A crunch meeting is to take place today to discuss the future of the Discovery free school in Crawley in Sussex. The school faces closure because of concerns about the standard of education it offers.


List of ten new Free School in Meridian region

The Department of Education has released a list of the ten new Free Schools which will open in 2014 in the Meridian region.

  • Bray Free Primary School, Windsor and Maidenhead
  • Cobham Free School (Senior Department), Secondary, Surrey
  • Crawley Free School, All through school, West Sussex
  • Evendons Primary School, Wokingham
  • INSPIRE Special Free School, Secondary, Medway
  • Island Free School, Secondary, Isle of Wight
  • Jubilee Primary School, Kent
  • Salisbury Sixth Form College, Wiltshire
  • The Heights Primary School, Reading
  • West Reading Education Network (WREN), Secondary, Reading

New Free Schools for the South

The first free schools opened in September 2012 Credit: ITV News Meridian

Ten free schools in our patch have been approved by Department for Education and are due to open in September 2014.

In total 102 new school given go ahead today by the government. Free schools are state funded by outside of local authority control and are set up by parents, charities, teachers and educationalists.

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