Durham Free School is set to opens its doors for the first time today.
It follows a two-year campaign by families who were struggling to get their children into Durham Johnston School who then went on to set up their own school.
The Durham Free School (DFS) will open in the former Durham Gilesgate Sports College in Gilesgate.
Nine teachers will care for 31 year seven pupils from Durham, Bowburn, Coxhoe, Spennymoor and elsewhere.
The school will be funded by and responsible to the Department for Education.
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Robert Hodgson, from Stanley, County Durham, committed the offences on the girls, aged as young as five or six, up to the age of 13.