THE first mainstream free school will be created in Worcestershire this September after Holy Trinity International school was given the go-ahead by the Department for Education.
The school in Kidderminster is currently an independent day school and nursery for girls and boys from 0 to 18.
From September, it will become Holy Trinity School, offering an all age (4-18) school initially with up to 454 pupils. That number is predicted to grow over a five year period to 688 by the school year 2018-19.
The decision to allow Holy Trinity School, in Birmingham Road, to become a free school was announced by Nicola Reeve, chair of governors of the Holy Trinity School Academy Trust, and the school's headteacher Pamela Leek-Wright.
Mrs Leek-Wright said: "This is brilliant news.
“We have been working hard on our plans for over two years and we are very pleased to be able to tell everyone that we will be opening our doors in September to a large number of new pupils.
"Holy Trinity School has been in existence for over 110 years and its long tradition of academic excellence and pastoral care will now be accessible to the whole community free of charge.”
The school will be run by the Holy Trinity School Academy Trust, a body completely separate from the Trust which runs the current school.
The move has been made possible after the Department for Education agreed to enter into a free school funding agreement.
The school has indicated it will continue to offer a strong emphasis on high expectations for all pupils and on academic rigour.
It is the second free school to be created in Worcestershire after ContinU Plus Alternative Provision School, also in Kidderminster, was given the go-ahead last September.
ContinU Plus Academy offers a curriculum to pupils who may be at risk of exclusion, disengaged or needing a targeted pathway.
The Department for Education describes free schools as non-profit-making, independent, state-funded schools.
They are set up in response to what local people say they want and need in order to improve education for children in their community.
They are funded by the government but have greater freedoms than local authority-run schools.
They are run by teachers and have freedom over the length of the school day and term, the curriculum and how they spend their money.
Free schools are expected to be open to pupils of all abilities from the area and cannot be academically selective.
Holy Trinity School will be holding an open event from 9.30amto 10.30am on Friday, May 2.
More information is available at htsfreeschool.co.uk