Frequently Asked Questions
YOUR SCHOOL - YOUR QUESTIONS
We understand that the opening of a new school will invite lots of interest, queries and questions. We have done our best to answer as many of these as possible below, but please do not hesitate to get in touch if you require any more information or have anything that you wish to share.
What kind of school is Cambrai?
All new schools approved by the government are called ‘free schools’. A free school is simply a school, or ‘academy’, that is outside of Local Authority control. Increasingly, these schools are opened by Multi-Academy Trusts, such as Lingfield Education Trust. Free schools are not profit making entities, or businesses. Children attend school for the same amount of hours and weeks as local schools and our school will follow local term times.
What will children learn at Cambrai?
Cambrai, like all schools in our Trust, follows the National Curriculum - the curriculum prescribed by the government for all Local Authority Schools. Most academies, like ours, choose to follow the National Curriculum. Children learn the same subjects and sit the same tests as other neighbouring schools.
Why didn't the school open with all year groups in September 2019?
The DFE discourage new schools from opening all year groups initially - preferring a build up model, starting with a reception intake. We agree. We do not want to 'poach' children settled in other schools and want to build our own school community from the ground up. Indeed, whilst over time projections show that there will be a significant number of additional children requiring a school place, many building and garrison projects aren't complete yet, so those places are not required just yet. The school will build gradually, until the 2019 reception class reach year 6 at which point all year groups will be open.
Which staff are in place for September 2019?
Because we are only starting with a reception cohort, we do not need a full school staff from day 1. Our staff build up plan closely mirrors the pupil build up plan with us hiring new teachers and staff each year until the school is full. From September 2019, the school consists of an Executive Headteacher (Mr. Dent), reception class teaching staff and support staff,, a cook and office staff. Staff will be appointed across 2019 in preparation for the start of the next academic year - and the move to the large permanent building.
Who are the school leaders be accountable to for the success of the school, if not the Local Authority?
As with all academies, ultimate accountability lies with the Regional Schools Commissioner and the DFE. At local level, the school will have a Local Governing Body, who are accountable to the Trust Trustees and Members. The regular monitoring of the school is conducted by the Trust's Senior Leadership Team, of which Mr Dent is part of, as the Trust's School Improvement Lead.
Is it a ‘selective school’?
No, our admissions policy is similar to other schools in the area. We are an inclusive school and all children are welcome.
Will the opening of Cambrai Primary affect other schools in the area?
This is not the aim of opening the school. Pupil numbers have been carefully reviewed by the DFE and Local Authority and they have advised how many pupils the school admits initially and over time based on the need for school places. Parents are able to choose any school for their child, and we hope many choose Cambrai, but not to the detriment of other local schools.
Will the school be inspected by OFSTED?
Yes – usually in its third year of operation. The school also had to be inspected by OFSTED as part of the pre-opening arrangements for the school, where policies were reviewed ,plans scrutinised and leaders questioned. The OFSTED visit confirmed that the school was likely to meet all of the standards expected of it. The Trust has significant OFSTED inspection expertise within its central team.
What is a 'funding agreement'?
A Funding Agreement is the contract between the Secretary of State for Education and the Trust that sets out the terms on which the school is funded. More information about a Funding Agreement can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/academy-and-free-school-funding-agreements-multi-academy-trust
If you have any more questions please send them to the team using the
form at the bottom of the page and we will gladly get in touch.